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The International Critical Commentary 


























First Edition . 

. . 1921 

Reprinted . . , 

. . 1950 

Reprinted . • . 

. . 1958 

The Rights of Translation and of Reproduction are Reserved. 


Some eighteen months before his death in February 19 14, 
Dr. Driver began the actual writing of the volume on " Job " 
for the" International Critical Commentary." In the middle 
of January 19 14, when the very serious nature of his illness had 
became evident, he wrote a short memorandum on the state 
of his MS, and suggestions for the completion of his work. 
In this he expressed a strong desire that I should complete 
what he was compelled to leave incomplete. The task, 
I knew at once, would be arduous and absorb much time ; 
but not to undertake it, or to do less than my best to dis- 
charge it, would have been an ill return for all that I had 
long owed to the friendship and scholarship of Dr. Driver. 
The time involved has even exceeded my expectations, partly 
because what remained to be done proved so much more 
than appeared at first. Finding that the mass of material 
would be very great, and wishing that the publication of the 
commentary should not be unduly delayed, Dr. Driver had 
earlier invited Dr. A. H. McNeile to undertake the exegetical 
notes and the Introduction, and, under conditions with regard 
to the claims of other work. Dr. McNeile had consented. It 
was naturally my own very strong desire that this arrange- 
ment should stand, and at first Dr. McNeile agreed that it 
should, and indeed, in looking through the MS with a view 
to his own part of the work, added on the first chapters 
some brief notes which, duly initialed, have been retained. 
But later the claims of his other work became so pressing 
that he wished to withdraw from co-operating in this com- 


mentary, and, though it was with the greatest regret, I could 
but acquiesce in his wish. Thus by far the greater part of 
the work, and the final responsibility for the whole of it, has 
fallen on me. Of the actual division of the work I will speak 

In the memorandum to which I have alluded, Dr. Driver 
wrote: "I began this in Aug. 1912; and have completed 
the first draft of virtually all the philological notes, and 
revised them as far as about c. 14: I have also completed 
virtually the translation and (fairly completely) the ex- 
egetical notes on c, 3-9 and 40-41." When the material 
was handed to me, I found that it contained less of the 
translation than this might seem to imply : the translation 
consisted of a text of the RV. with the very extensive 
alterations placed on the margin ; occasionally a choice 
between one or two renderings was left open for final judge- 
ment. These corrections of the RV. began with c. 3 and 
extended (with the exception of ig^-^'') to c. 28, and again 
from 40^^-41^*. Of these parts, then, the translation in this 
volume is Dr. Driver's, except that (i) here and there I have 
modified certain renderings of the RV. left uncorrected, out 
of regard to other passages or express statements in the 
notes; (2) that I have exercised the final judgement as 
between alternative renderings ; and (3) that I have through- 
out determined how the divisions into lines, distichs, and 
tristichs should be represented. The exegetical notes, which 
extended only, and that with very varying degrees of com- 
pleteness, from 3^-9" and 40^^-41^", were not in form for 
publication : in another part of the memorandum the instruc- 
tion runs: "Such exegetical notes as 1 have written, he [the 
editor] can utilize, supplement, or amend, as he likes. I 
should naturally like the explanations, etc., of my Job in 
the R V. to be, as far as possible, adopted, but I do not 
make this a sine qua non." I have accordingly incorpo- 
rated much of this material in the commentary on these 
parts of the text ; to have distinguished it constantly from 
the additions and modifications required would have unduly 


complicated the notes, but here and there, especially when 
my own judi^ement slightly differed {e.g. on 3^), I have 
made use of inverted commas to indicate direct quotation. 
Broadly, however, it may be said of pp. 31-87 and 354-371 
that the notes on individual verses, as distinct from the 
introductory and certain longer notes (e.g. on pp. 40 f., 
•jy f.), are very largely in substance and largely also in ex 
pression, Dr. Driver's. For the rest the commentary is 
mine, though in order to perpetuate Dr. Driver's point of 
view, I have frequently cited not only his Book of Job in the 
Revised Version, but also his Introduction to the Literature oj 
the Old Testament, and occasionally I have transferred to the 
commentary, as being more appropriate there, a passage 
from the philological notes, distinguishing this matter by 
adding " Dr." 

With the philological notes I have adopted a different 
course. It was to these the greatest attention and the fullest 
revision had been given. It seemed desirable then (i) that 
they should to the fullest possible extent be reproduced and 
their authorship made clear ; yet (2) that these notes should 
be as complete and homogeneous as possible. I have, there- 
fore, while adding freely, perhaps to the extent of about a 
third of the whole, distinguished all my own additions in 
substance, except in cc. i. 2. 32^"^ and 42^"^^, which are 
entirely mine, by placing them in square brackets ; but I 
have not thought it necessary unduly to multiply these signs 
by using them for the filling in of obvious references left 
blank in the MS, nor to distinguish slight formal changes 
made in preparing the MS for press, or in proof. As men- 
tioned in the passage already cited from the memorandum, 
cc. 1-14 had been more fully revised than the rest; some 
notes^ or parts of notes, were still unwritten even in these 
earlier chapters, but the blank spaces in the MS were far 
more frequent in the later chapters, and unfortunately 
occurred where many of the most important or difficult 
passages, such as \(J^^^-, were concerned. 

Final responsibility for the whole must, as I have said, 



under the circumstances rest upon me ; but with this proviso 
the distribution of the work may be thus tabulated : 




Driver . . 


(in large partj. 

3-31, 32^-428 
(except matter en- 
closed in square 

Gray . . . 

I. 2. 29-42 ; 
also ig-*"-''. 

I. 2. 9"-4o''*. 42 

entire, and the 

rest in part. 

I. 2. 32'"® 42'-" 
and, in the re- 
mainder, matter 

enclosed in 
square brackets. 

For the Introduction I am entirely responsible. 

The aim of the philological notes is indicated in these 
sentences of the memorandum : " On philological points I 
found there was a good deal to say, and 1 wished the philo- 
logical basis of the commentary to be strong, and thought 
that many things deserved a fuller discussion than they 
generally received in the volumes of the ICC. Notes and 
explanations of the principal emendations of Du. and Be. 
ought also, I thought, to be given for the use of students 
(though I do not believe myself that i in 10 is necessary or 
probable), — sometimes also the conjectures of Bi. and others 
(though I content myself mostly with merely mentioning 
these from time to time, and do not polemize against them). 
... I have not thought it necessary to quote exhaustively 
authorities for renderings and readings : the principal recent 
ones seemed to me sufficient. Improbable conjectures I 
have also omitted (except sometimes those of Du. and Be*^). 
An emendation quoted at the end of a note is not intended 
to imply my acceptance of it." " In textual matters 1 gener- 
ally find myself in agreement with Bu. ; but I cannot adopt 
his view of the Elihu speeches. I intended to acknowledge 
generously in the Preface the great value and help which 
Be'^ had been to me. But I cannot accept many of his 


emendations; he seems to me often hypercritical and 

On account of the extent of and the importance attached 
to the philological notes, Dr. Driver had planned that they 
should be printed in the larger type, and issued in a separate 
volume. To this the publishers readily agreed, and on this 
understanding this part of the work was first printed. But 
the new conditions created by the war rendered the plan 
of two volumes undesirable; consequently these notes now 
appear with a pagination of their own at the end of the 
one volume. 

1 need not repeat here much that I wrote in the Preface 
to Isaiah ; it applies, mutatis mutandis, to the present com- 
mentary ; but in the matter of transliterations I may observe 
that owing to the circumstances under which the present 
volume has been prepared there remain, much to my regret, 
certain inconsistencies — the P, for example, being some- 
times transliterated k, sometimes q ; and similarly different 
abbreviations of some names and titles will be found to have 
been used ; but I trust that neither the one inconsistency 
nor the other will occasion any practical inconvenience. 



Introduction. .... 

§§ 1-2. Title and Place in thk Canon 
§ 3. Subject and Main Divisions . 

§§ 4-6. Literary Form . 

§§ 7-3'- Origin and History of the Book of Job : Possible 
Sources and Additions . 
(a) Tradilioiial Elements : Names and Terms 
(A) The "Babylonian Job" . 
{c) Relation of Prologue and Epiloj^ue to the Dia 
lotjue : the Divine Names (§ ig) 

(d) Cc. 25-28 . 

(e) Cc. 32-37 : Elihu (see also § 41) 

(a) The Divine Names, § 24 

(b) -:k and '3:j<, § 25 
(f) Particles, § 26 
{d) Other stylistic features, §§ 27-29 . 
(e) Aramaisms, § 28 . 

(/) Cc. 38^-42^ : The speeches of Yahweh . 

Table of Original and Later Elements in th 
Book : also of Passages absent from dr 

§§32-41. Purpose and Method of the Writer 

§§ 42-47. The Age of the Book 

(a) External Evidence 

(b) Political and Social Conditions 

(c) Parallel Passages . 

(</) Theological and Religious Ideas 

(e) Language . 




























§48-51. The Text ...... Ixxi 

§ 52. The Rhythms ...... Ixxvii 

Part I. Translation and Commentary ... i 

Part II. Philological Notes ..... i 

Indexes — 

i. English ....... 351 

ii, Hebrew ....... 355 


Translation and Commentary. 

P. 87. For "the chambers of the south " in 9^, F. Pedes (in 
Orient. Studien Fritz Honimel . . . gewidmet (19 18), ii. 
132) suggests "the (stars) surrounding the south," after 
the rendering of 6 'E^p. in the Hexapla — Kal iravra ra 
aarpa ra kukXcvvtu votov = ]'0T\ ''']"!n. 

Philological Notes. 

P. 18, 1. 13. After ''{ZAJV, 1S97, p. 183 ff.)" add: and still 
more recently by J. Hehn in Orient. Sttidien Fritz 
Homniel . . . gewid. ii. 79-90. 

P. 160, 1. 28. Perles [Orient. Stud. ii. 133) derives njiDn from 
pn, and proposes the meaning- " unergriindliches Wesen " 
— a synonym of ipn in 11^. 

E'. 273, 11. 14, 15. For^^^''^^ in editions of ffi . . . continuous 
lines in © " read: " in editions of ffi, ^'^^ except, ^°*, are 0, 
and ^'^ (G [aWa rou BiKaiou elcraKovaeTai) is not obviously 
a rendering of ^°* |t^ (iDIO^ D:iX ^n). Thus, in an earlier 
text of (&, the following appear to have been consecutive 
lines : ^ ffi = ^ )t?, 10^ ffi = ? % 12a ® ^ 6a 5^," 



'A, Aq. . 
AVm. . 
EV(V). . 
MS(S) Ken., 

Oc, Oi(ient) . 


PBV. . 
RVm. . 

2, Symm. 
e, Theod. 
& . 

1L . 

. Aquila. 

. Authorised Version (margin). 
Eii}j;lish Version(s). 
de Hebrew Manuscripts as cited in Kennicott or De 
. Occidental (Palestinian) and Oriental (Babylonian), 
see G-K. 7A n. ; and for the reading^s of the two 
schools in Job, S. Baer, Liber Jobi (1875), pp. 56-58. 
. Old Testament. 

Prayer Book Version. 
Revised Version (margin). 
. The ancient Greek (LXX) Version of the OT. (ed. 
Swete, Cambridge, 1887-1894). The readings of 
the codices are, when necessary, distinguished 
thus: — (5^ ffi*^ (Alexandrian, Vatican, etc.). For 
the cursives, reference has been made to Vet. Test. 
Greece., cum vartis lectionibus, ed. R. Holmes et 
J. Parsons (Oxon. 1823), which is cited as HP 
followed by a numeral denoting the cursive. Edi- 
tions of Job contain much that is really 9 (see 
Introd. §§ 48-51): such matter is commonly cited 
as ffi (6). 
. The Hebrew (unvocalized) text, i.e. the consonants of 

the ordinary Hebrew MSS and printed Bibles. 
. The consonants of the traditional Hebrew text ()^) 
irrespective of the present word divisions and after 
the removal of the vowel consonants (cp. Isaiah, 
p. xxv). 
. The Coptic (Sahidic) Version of ffi (§ 48). 
. Old Latin Version of fflr. 



® . 

5" . 

a: . 


The Massoretic Text (i.e. the vocalized text of the 
Hebrew Bible). Variants in the Hebrew codices 
have been cited from De Rossi, Varies Lectiones 
Vet. Test. ; Kennicott, Vet. Test. Heb. cum riariis 
lectionibus ; or R. Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, 

Targ^iiii) Onkelos. 

The Syriac Version (Peshitta). 

Tlic S\ TO-Hexaplar Version of ffi. 

Tarv;iiin : 21' ^T'"*, etc., first, second renderings in ST. 



[See also the lit 
4'. 45. 4^. 50 "•> 5' 


Be[er, G.] Be' 


Bl[ckell, G.] . 

Bu[ddo], K. 


Carey, C. P. . 

Ch[e[yne, T. K.] 

ChWB . 


Cooke, G. A. 

Cox, S. . 


Da[v[idson], A. B 

crature cited, especially in the Introduction, §§ 23 n., 28, 

. Anonymous Hebrew Commentary, ed. W. A. Wright, 
with Enjjf. tr. by S. A. Hirsch (1905)— later than Ibn 
Ezra and Qi. 

Atncricnn Journal of Semitic Languages and Litera- 
, S. Baer, Liber Jobi, 1875. 
. See Lex. 
. (l) Der Text des Buches Hiob (1897)— Be^. 

(2) Notes in R. Kittel, Bibl. Hebr.— Be^'^-. 
. (1) Carmina VT metrice, 1882, pp. 151-187. 

(2) Krit, Bearbeitung des Job-Dialogs, WZKM, 1892, 
pp. 137 ff., 241 ff., 327 ff. ; 1893, pp. I ff., 1^3 IT. 
Cp. (3). Das Biich Hiob Jiach Ayileitung der Strophik 
u. d. Septuaginta auf seine urspriingliche Form 
zurilrk-ge/iihrt u. im Versmasse des Urtextes iiber- 
se/sf, 1S94. 

Opera Omnia, Lugd. 1712, 

Comm. injobum, 1631. 
. (1) Beitrdge zur Krilik des B. Hiob, 1876. 

(2) Das Buck Hiob (in Nowack's, Handkommentar), 
I1896, ^1913. 

See G-B. 

TJte Book of Job translated, etc., 1858. 

(i) Job and Solomon, 18S7. 

(2) Job and other contributions to EBi. 

See Levy. 

CorpxiS Inscriptionum Seiniticarum, Paris, 1881 fF. 

N\orth\ ^emitic^ I[nscriptions\ Oxford, 1903. 

A Commentary on the Book of Job, 1880. 

See Rogers. 

(,\) A Commentary oil lheBookofJoh\\-Y.\\\ 1862. 

(2) The Book of Job in The Camb. Bible for Schools, 



DB . . . 

Del[itzsch, Franz] , 
Del[itzsch, Fried.]. 

Difllmann, A.] 
Dr[iver, S. R.] 

Dii[Iim, B.] . 


Ehrlich, A. B. 



• • 


Freyf[ag:, G. W.] 
G-B. . 

Ges[enius, W.] 
GGA . 
Gi[nsburg, C. D.]. 

G-K. . . . 

Gr[atz, H.] . 
Gray, G. B. . 

Ha[hn, H. A ] 
Hfm, or HofFm. 
Hi[tz[i- F.] . 
Hirzel (or Hrz), L. 
Honth[eim, J.] 

Dictionary of the Bible, and in particular^ Dictionary 

of the Bible, ed. James Hastings, 1898-1904. 
Das Buck Iliob in Biblischcr Comm. it. d. AT, '1864 

(Enj?. tr.), =1876. 
(i) Assyrisches HandwiJrterbuch, 1896, cited a 

(2) Das Buch Hiob neu iibersetzt u. kurzerkliirl, 

Leipzig, 1902, 
Hiob (in K[urzgef assies'] E[xegetisches'] J/[andb74ch]), 

(i) ^ Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew, 


(2) An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testa- 
w/^m/ (abbreviated LOT), "1913. 

(3) The Book of Job in the Revised Version, 1906. 

(4) Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel, 

Das Buch Hiob erkldrt in Marti's Kurser Hand- 

comme7itar zuni AT, 1897. 
Enryclopcedia Biblica, edited by T. K. Cheyne and 

J. S. Black, 1899-1903. 
Kandglossen zur Hebr. Bibel (igi^), vi. 180-344. 
Expository Times. 

(1) Lehrbuch d. Hebr. Sprache. 

(2) Die Dichter des Alten Bundes, dritter Theil, ^1854. 
The Expositor, 

See Gray, 3. 

Lexicon Arabico-Latinum, 1830. 

Wilhelm Gesenius' hebrdisches u. aram. Handwilr- 
terbuch iiber das AT . , . bearbeitet von Frants 
Buhl, *®i9i5. 


GiJttingische gelehrte Anzeigen. 

1J1 }a-\;>r\ nsD nyanxi Dntyj;, i.e. The Old Testament in 
Hebrew according to MSS and old editions, 1 894. 

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar . . , English edition by 
A. Cowley, ^1910 ( = 2Sth German edition, 1909). 

Emendationes in plerosque . . . VT libros, 1892, 

(i) Studies in Hebrew Proper Names, 1896 (abbre- 
viated HPN). 

(2) [yl Critical and Exegetical Commentary o«] Isaiah 

(3) [T'A^] Forms \of Hebrew Poetry], 1915. 
Commentar iiber d. B. Hiob, 1850. 

Hiob nachj. C. E. Hoffmann, 1891. 
Das Buch Hiob iibersetzt u. ausgelegt, 1874. 
KEH^ (1839), see Di. 

Das Buch Hiob als strophisches Kunstwerk nachge- 
wiesen iibersetzst u. erkldrt, 1904. 



Houb[igant, C. F.] 

HPN . 

I[bn] E[zra], Abra 
ham (+ 1 167) 


JBLit. . 

Jer[ome] (t 420) 
JDT . 

JQR . 

JThS . 
KAT^ . 


KB . . . 

Ki . 

Klo[stermann, A.]. 
K6n[ig, E.] . 

KSnigsb[erger, B.] 
Kue[nen, A.] . 

Lane, E. W. . 

Levy, J. 

Lidz[barski, M.] 

LOT . 
Matthes, J. C. 
Me[rx, A.] 
Meyer, E. 
Micli[aelis, J. II.] 

Nol[cl[ekc, T.] 
Nichols, Helen H. 

A'otcs critictx in universos VT libros, ii. 155-218(1777) 

See Gray, i. 

Hebrew Comm. on Job in Buxtorf s Biblia Rabbinica. 

hiternational Critical Commentary. 
See Gray, 2. 
Journal of Biblical Literature, 

Jahrbiicher f. deutsche Theologie. 

Journal of Philology. 

Jewish Quarterly Review, 

Journal of Theological Studies. 

Die Keilinschriften u. d. A T, von Eberhard Schrader, 
dritte Auflage neu bearbeitet von H. Zimmern u. H. 
Winckler, 1903. 

In Bunsen's Bibelwerk, Abth. i. Bd. 3, 1865. 

Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, von E. Schrader, 1889- 

See Qi. 

Ilinb in PRE\\n. 97-126. 

Historisch-Kritisches Lehrgebaiide der Hebriiischen 
Sprache, 1881, 1895: the concluding volume (cited 
as Kon. iii. or simply Kon. ) appeared in 1897 with 
a fresh title, Historischcoinparative Syntax d. 
Hebr. Sprache. 

Hiob Studien, 1896. 

Historisch-Kritisch Onderzoek naar het Ontstaan . , . 
van de Boeken des Ouden Verbondes, ^1865. 

An Arabic-English Lexicon, 1863. 

Lexicon, and unless otherwise defined A Hebrew and 
English Lexicon of the Old Testament based on the 
Thesaurus of Gesenius, by F. Brown, C. A. Briggs, 
and S. R. Driver, Oxford, 1906. 

(i) ChWB, i.e., Chalddisches Wiirterbuch iiber die 
Targumim, Leipzig, 1881. 

(2) NHWB, \.e., Neuhebrdisches u. Chalddisches Wiir- 
terbuch iiber die Talmudim u. Midraschim, 1876- 

(i) Handbuch d. Nordsem. Epigraphik, 1898 — NSE. 

(2) Eph\emeris f. sem. Epigraphik\ 1900 ff. 

See Dr. 2. 

Het Boekjob vertaald en verklaard, 1865. 

Das Gedicht von Hiob, 1871. 

\Die\ I\sraeliten u. ihrc] A'[achbar] S[/d?nme], 1906. 

Annotatio7ies in Hagiogr. 

See Levy, 2. 

Beit7\dge sur sent. Sprachwissenschaft\, 1904. 

The Composition of the Elihu Speeches (in AJSL, 
vol. xxvii., 191 1, and printed separately). 




01[sli[ausen, J.] . 

Oo[rt, H.] . 

P[ayne] Sfmith.R.] 
Pe[a[ke, A. S.] 
PEFOitSt . 
Perles, F. 
PRE . 

Qi. ... 

Ralbag . 

Ra[shi] . 


R[ei]sk[e, J. J.] 
REJ . 
Renan, E. 
Richter, G. . 
Rogers, R. W. 

Schult[ens, A.] 
S[ie]gf[ried, C] 

Sievers, E. 

Sta[de, B.] 

St[ick]el . . 
Strahan, J. 
Slu[der, G. L.] 
Stuhl[mann, M. H.] 
Thomson, W. M. , 
Tristram, H. B. 
TSK . 
Voi[gt, CI.] . . 


See Lidz. 

See Cooke. 

KEH^{\?,^z): see Di. 

Texlus Hebraici emendationes quibus in VT Neer- 

landice vertendo usi sunt A. Kuenen al. 
Thesaurus Syriactts, 1900. 
The Century Bible : Job, 1905. 
Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement. 
Analekten zur Textkritik des A T, 1895. 
Migne, Paleologia Latina. 
Herzog's Real-Encyklopddie f, Protestantische Theo- 

logie, 3rd ed. by A. Hauck. 
David Qimhi (ti23o). 
R[abbi] L[evi] b[en] G[ershon] (f 1344) : Heb. Comm. 

in Buxtorf s Biblia Rabbinica. 
R[abboni] Sh[elomoh] Y[ishaki] (1040-1105). 

Hebrew Commentary on Job in Buxtorfs Bibl. 

Revue Biblique Internationale publide par V Acole 

pratiqtie d Etudes Bibliques dtablie au convent 

Dominicain Saint-£tienne de Jerusalem (Paris). 
Conjecture in Jobuin et Proverbia, Lips. 1779. 
Revue des Etudes Juives. 
Le livre de Job, i860. 
Dtinkle Sfellen im Buche Hiob, 191 2. 
C[unei/orm] P[arallels to the Old Testament\ 
Jobus, Lips. 1 806. 
Saadiah (1942). 
See Dr. 4. 
D. B. Hiob, 1851. 

Anitnadversiones ad qucedam locajobi, Tiib. 178 1-2. 
Liber Jobi, Lugd. 1737. 
The Book of Job, critical edition of the Hebrew Text, 

Metrische Studien in the Abhandlungen der phil.-hist. 

classe d. kiJnig. scichsischen Gesellschaft d. Wissen- 

schaften, xxi. (1901). The Textproben include Job 

(i) Lebrbuch d. hebr. Sprache, 1879. 

(2) IF.^ = Siegfried, C. u. Stade, B., Llebr. WiJrter- 

buch zu?n A T. 
Das Buch Hiob, 1842. 
The Book of Job interpreted, 191 3. 
Das Buch Hiob, 1881. 
Hiob, 1804. 

The L[and and the'] Blpokl, 1867. 
{The] N\_atural] H\istory of the] B[ible], 1867. 
Theologische Studien u. Kritiken. 
Einige Sfellen d. B. Hiob, Lauban, 1895. 



WefUli.]. . . WcUhausen, J. 

\Vetz[stein] . . Notes in Del. 

Wr[ight, G. II. B 1 The Booh of Job, iSS.-j. 

WZKM . . Wiener Zcitschrift f. d. Kunde des Morgenlandes. 

ZA . . . Zeitschriftf. d. Assyriologie. 

ZA{T)W . . Zeitschrift f. d. Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. 

ZDMG . , Zeitschr. d. deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschafi. 

ZDPV . . Zeitschrift d. deutschen Pdlastina-Vereins. 

Biblical passages are cited according to the Hebrew enumeration of 
chapters and verses : where this differs from the English enumeration, the 
reference to the latter has commonly (except in the philological notes) been 
added in a parenthesis. In the translation of c. 41, however, it seemed more 
convenient to place the EngUsh enumeration first. 

The sign t, following a series of references, Indicates that all examples 
of the phrase, word, form or meaning in question, occurring in the OT, 
have been cited. 

The signs r "i enclosing words in the translation {e.g. 3'^) indicate depart- 
ures from ^ (occasionally also departures even from fH have been so 
indicated). Small print in the translation indicates probable additions, and 
unleaded type the longer interpolations of cc. 28. 32-37. 

al. =alii (others). 

Cp. = Compare. 

Ct. = Contrast 


I. Title and Place in the Canon. 

§ I. The Book of Job is one of the eleven books which con- 
stitute the third of the three parts of which the Hebrew Scrip- 
tures, D"'3in31 D'S^a: min, consist. In printed Hebrew Bibles it 
takes the third place among those eleven books, following Ps. 
and Pr. This order goes back to Hebrew MSS, especially 
those of German provenance ; but other arrangements occur in 
other MSS or Jewish lists. Job preceding Pr. in the Talmudic 
list {Baba Bathra, 14b) and in many MSS, especially the 
Spanish, and preceding both Ps. and Pr. in Jer.'s list of the third 
part of the Hebrew Scriptures. ^ But of Jewish arrangements 
it may be said (i) that Job is generally grouped together with 
the poetical books Ps. and Pr. ; and (2) that this group gener- 
ally stands at the beginning of the Hagiographa (and conse- 
quently immediately after the prophets), or preceded by one 
book only (Ruth or Ch.).^ 

In (G and in Greek and Latin lists, owing to the abandon- 
ment of the Jewish tripartite division, the different positions 

^ Prol. Gal. {Prcef. in Libr. Samuel et Malachim) -. " Tertius ordo 
' kyi6ypa(t>a possidet ; et primus liber incipit ab Job. Secundiis a David. 
. . . Tertius est Salamoti." The premier position thus given to Job was 
probably due to a chronological consideration, such as is cited and rejected 
in Baba Bathra, 14b: "The order of the Kethubim is Ruth, the Book of 
Psalms, Job and Proverbs, etc. . . . Now, if it be said, Job lived in the 
days of Moses, Job therefore should be placed at the head : verily we do 
not begin with calamity." 

- Some exceptions to both these general rules are recorded in H. E. 
Ryle, The Canon of the Old Testament, 281 f. More generally on the place 
of Job in lists, Jewish and others, see Ryle, op. cit. ch. xii. , and Swefe, 
Introd. to the OT in Greek, part ii. ch. i. 

XX THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 1-3. 

assigned to Job become far more numerous. " Mucli dilliculty 
seems to have been felt as to the place of Job : the book 
normally appears in connexion with the poetical books, either 
last or first, but it is sometimes placed among- the histories 
(Augustine, Innocent, Cod. Clarom., Ps.-Gelasius, Cassio- 
dorius), or afte. tbe I'rcphets. '- In t^^, under the influence 
of what had come to be the standard arrangement of U,^ the 
book stands in an ambiguous position — last of the historical or 
first of the poetical books. In deference to theories connecting 
Job with Moses or his age, the book was placed in S between 
Deut. and Jos. 3 In Epiphanius [de mens et pond. 23) it stands 
between Jos. and Judges. 

§ 2. Like Joshua or Ruth, the book bears as its title simply 
the name of its hero — 3VN, 'Ict>/3. The dissyllabic Hebrew- 
name 'lyyob became in iJ Job, and hence in EVV. mono- 

II. Subject and Main Divisions. 

§ 3. The Book of Job contains (i) the story of the sudden 
change in the fortunes of a sheikh of ancient times, and (2) the 
speeches in a discussion arising out of this. Job, so the story 
runs, was a man conspicuous for his wealth and good fortune 
which he had long enjoyed, but not less so for his character, 
which was beyond reproach from either God or man. On a 
single day he was stripped of all his possessions and of all his 
children, and shortly afterwards smitten with a fell disease. 
The occasion of this tragic change remains unknown to Job, 
but the reader is at once acquainted with it. One day when 
Yahweh in heaven was surrounded by the sons of the gods. He 
commends Job to the attention of one of them, the Satan, as the 

> Swete, op. cit. 228. 

"^ MSS of 3J show many different positions of Job (S. Bergfer, Hisfoire de 
la Vulgate, 331-339) : the still prevailing arrang-ement according to which 
Job follows the historical books and immediately precedes Ps. became fixed 
in the 13th cent. (Berger, p. 304). 

" Job is also mentioned in this order in Jer. Ep. liii. ("Ad Paulinuni " : 
Migne, PL xxii. 545). " Saint Jt^rome, qui ^crivait en Syrie, s'est-il inspir^ 
de I'usage des populations qui I'entouraient ?" (Berger, op, cit. p. 305). 


best man on earth. The Satan at once disputes the depth of 
Job's piety: it is, he sug-g-ests, but skin-deep: if Job be 
deprived of his wealth, he will abandon his fear of God and 
blaspheme. Yahweh permits the Satan to put the matter 
to the test. The Satan strips Job of his wealth ; but Job 
stands the test. The Satan then with equal unsuccess tests 
Job by depriving- him also of his health. Job's wife, indeed, 
now breaks down, and bids her husband curse God and die ; 
but Job himself still with undiminished piety accepts everything- 
in a spirit of resignation. After an interval of, it is implied 
(see n. on i^^"^-^), at least some weeks, three friends of Job 
come to comfort him, and for seven days sit silently with him. 
Job then breaks the silence in a monologue raising the question 
why he and other sufferers are born or compelled to live. There 
follow two cycles each of six speeches, one by each of the three 
friends and an answer to each by Job, and a third cycle which, 
whether so originally or not, is now incomplete, two only of 
the friends taking part in it. In these speeches the friends 
assert and Job denies that his calamities are due to his sin. After 
Job's speech at the conclusion of the third cycle, a new speaker, 
Elihu, intervenes at great length. Then Yahweh replies to 
Job, eliciting brief responses from him. After the speeches the 
story is resumed : taking no account of Elihu, Yahweh con- 
demns what the three friends had said, approves what Job had 
said, and restores to him twice his former wealth. Thus five 
main divisions of the existing book are clearly marked: 

1. Introduction or Prologue, 1-2. 

2. Speeches of Job and the three Friends, 3-31. 

3. Speeches of Elihu, 32-37. 

4. Speeches of Yahweh with Job's responses, 38^-42^. 

5. Conclusion or Epilogue, 42''^"^''. 

For fuller analysis of the book see § 31 ; and cp. §§ 32-41. 

III. Literary Form. 

§ 4. On the ground of the subject discussed in the speeches 
(§§ 3> 32-41)' J<^ti has commonly and appropriately been classed 
with Pr., Qoh., Sir., and Wisdom as belonging to the 



"Wisdom" or reflective literature ^ of the Jews in which 
human life is considered broadly without the overruling 
national interest that characterizes most other Hebrew litera- 
ture. But in two matters of form Job differs from these other 
specimens of Jewish wisdom : — (i) in its combination of prose and 
poetry, 2 the Prologue and Epilogue being prose, ^ the speeches 
poetry: and (2) in its use of dialogue.* Something distantly 
similar to both these characteristics of the book may be found 
in other Hebrew literature ; but the resemblances are partial, 
and the book of Job remains unique not only in the " Wisdom," 
but in the entire literature of the Jews.^ 

^ See, e.g., C. H. Toy, "Wisdom Literature," in EBi. : Dr. LOT 
392-394 ; W. T. Davison, The Wisdom Literature of the O. T. : C. Siegfried, 
"Wisdom," in Z>5. 

2 Pr. and Sir. are poetry throughout ; Wisdom — written in Greek — is 
written throughout in a style strongly affected by Hebrew parallelism, 
possibly also by Hebrew rhythm ; whether on this account it should be 
termed poetry or prose may here be left an open question (cp. Forms of 
Hebrew Poetry, 32 f., 136). Qoh. " is written, as a whole, in prose ; but when 
the thought becomes elevated, or sententious, it falls into the poetical form 
of rhythmic parallelism" (Dr. LOT^ 465): yet even though this be so, 
the distribution of prose and poetry in Job and Qoh. is entirely different : 
in Job the prose parts are prose not passing into poetry, and the poetry is 
sustained poetry not dropping into prose. 

* Prose also are the formulae introducing the several speeches (3^- ^ 4' 6' 
etc.) and the longer introduction to Elihu's speeches {-t^z^'^^). The distinction 
between poetry and prose, already mentioned by Jer. (Prcef. in Lib. Job: PL 
xxvii. 1081), is imperfectly marked in fE by the use of two different systems 
of accentuation— the ordinary system in i'-3' and 42''-''', the system employed 
in Pr. and Ps. in 3"-42*, including the prose of 32^'^* and the introductory 

* Perhaps we might add as a third difference its sustained treatment of 
a single theme. Sir., the work of a single writer, is indeed longer than 
Job, but it ranges discursively over a variety of aspects of human life and 
conduct ; so does Pr., the work of many writers. Qoh. and Wisdom are con- 
siderably shorter than Job. Outside the " Wisdom " literature the historical 
compilations are, of course, much longer than Job, but the nearest approach 
to the sustained treatment of a theme is to be found in Is. 40-55 and Ezk. 
40-48, both of which are shorter. In any case, Job has this interest that no 
other single Hebrew poet has left us the same amount of poetry : this 
remains true even though a considerable part of Job (28. 32-37. 38-41) be 
assigned to different poets. 

" Nor is it unique inerelj' as an exotic, which has its own well-defined 
class elsewhere. It is, for example, no more similar to a Greek or any 
other epic or drama than to other works of Hebrew literature. A drama 

§§ 5-6.] LITERARY FORM Xxiii 

§ 5' Many books of the OT. contain, it is true, both prose 
and poetry ; but those books are either, like the prophetical 
books, which contain both prose memoirs and prophetic poems 
(cp. the Introd. to Isaiah), not single works, or, as in the 
prose historical books which die poems, they combine the 
styles differently. On the other hand, Job, if the substantial 
integrity of the book can be maintained, is a single work 
written partly in prose, partly in poetry, the narrative in prose, 
the speeches in poetry. For analogies to this we must go beyond 
Hebrew literature : cs". to the Makdmdt of Hariri in which the 
narrative is in rhymed prose, but the (longer) speeches of the 
characters are (commonly) metrical poems. 

§ 6. Again some analogy to the dialogue, to the response 
of two or more speakers to one another, is to be found, for 
example, in Canticles [e.g. i^f-i^f. 2^"^); but for dialogue as a 
means of discussing problems of life, we must again pass for 
analogy beyond Jewish literature. Such dialogue ^ until recently 
was quite unknown in Babylonian literature ; but certain texts 
— one of the age of Sargon (722-705 B.C.) — have now been 
published containing what their editor describes as specimens 
of philosophical dialogue.'^ These, however, offer a very distant 

in any strict sense it is certainly not ; in the Prologue there is movement 
indeed, but the Prologue is narrative, — an anticipation of the novel rather 
than of the drama, — and in the dialogue there is no dramatic movement. 
There are in the book, it is true, all the elements that might have 
been combined by a Greek into a great drama : the Hebrew writer has 
used them differently, and his work was certainly never acted in ancient 
Judah. Job has, I am informed, been recently staged in New York, and, 
according to my informant, the performance was very impressive ; but 
this no more proves that the Hebrew work was a drama than H. G. 
Wells' Utidying Fire proves that it was a novel. Reference may also be 
made to the judicious criticism by C. G. Montefiore in the Harvard Theo- 
logical I? evie^v, 1919, 219-224, oi The Book of Job as a Greek Tragedy, in which 
the author (H. M. Kallen) seeks to prove that the existing- book of Job is 
the result of editorial manipulations of what was originally a Hebrew 
imitation of a Euripidean tragedy. 

^ Dialogue of a different type was known ; and Kon. {Einl. 410 f.) had 
even compared that in the " Descent of Ishtar" (Rogers, CP 121 ff.) with 
that in Job, on the ground that both were cases of dialogue introduced into 

- E. Ebeling, Keilinscrifttexte mis Assiir rel. Inh. iii. 193 ; Mitteilungen 
der vorderasia/ ischen Gescllschaft, 1918-, pp. 50-70 (German translation with 


parallel to the dialogue as handled in Job; they are simple, 
brief, and exceedingly schematic. In a dozen sections all cast 
in the same scheme and some eight lines in length, the advan- 
tages and disadvantages of various courses of action are dis- 
cussed by a master and his slave. Between the Babylonian 
"philosophical dialogue," so far as yet known, and the dialogue 
in Job the difference is so great as to render any direct in- 
fluence of one over the other altogether improbable. And the 
same is true, though in this case the difference is of quite 
another kind, of the Greek dialogue. It is curious that the 
most famous examples of this were written at probably no great 
distance of time from Job, and it is barely possible, though not 
probable (§§ 42-47), that the author of Job wrote later than 
Plato ; yet between the dialogue of Job, consisting exclusively 
of long set speeches in poetical form, and the prose dialogues 
of Plato, with their closely knit analytical argument carried 
on by means of much quickly responsive conversation, the 
difference is so great that the probability that the Hebrew 
writer was influenced by those Greek literary models is so 
slight as to be negligible. So long as Job was commonly re- 
garded as long anterior to Plato, it was not customary to look 
upon Plato as an imitator of Job ; there is just as little reason 
now that Job is referred to a later age than formerly to assert 
that it is "unquestionably a Hebrew imitation of the philo- 
sophical dialogue of Plato." ^ Whence the author derived any 
suggestion for the use of dialogue in discussing the problems 
of life thus remains quite obscure. 

notes). Cp. ET, 1920, pp. 420-423, where will be found an English 
translation of six of the sections, of which one may here serve as an 
illustration : 

"Slave, attend to me! 'Yes, my lord, yes." 
'I will love a woman.' 'Yes, love, my lord, love! 
A man who loves a woman forgets trouble and care.' 
'No, slave, I will not love a woman.' 'Love not, my lord, 

love not. 
Woman is a pit, a hole tliat is dug ; 
Woman is an iron dagger, sharp, which cuts a man's throat."' 

^ Oscar Holtzmann in Stade's Gesch. des Volkes Israel, ii. 331. 


IV. Origin and History of the Book: Possible 
Sources and Additions. 

§ 7. The unique character of the combination of prose and 
poetry in the book (§ 5) has sometimes been treated as the 
result of the orig-in of the book, of the existing- material which 
the author utilized. What was this? That the book is a 
report of facts of history, the exact record in prose of the actual 
fortunes of a particular individual and of the words spoken in 
verse by him and others, is a view that was long maintained or 
accepted,^ thoug-h not even in earlier times without occasional 
sug-gestions that the book is fiction.- It is unnecessary to 
repeat here the arguments against a view which has become 
entirely antiquated. But if the book is not history, and the 
speeches not the ipsissima verba of speeches reported verbatim^ 
it need not be pure invention ; the story with which it opens 
and closes may be, and in part almost certainly is, based on or 
derived from popular tradition or literature ; and, indeed, this 
is quite certain, if the book is rightly inferred to have been 
written after the Exile (see § 42 ff.), for Ezk. 141*- 20 refers to 

' A defence of the strictly historical character of the book may be found 
in the learned work of S. Lee, The Book of the Patriarch Joh (1837), p. 6ff. : 
this was directed especially against Warburton, Divine Legation, Book vi. 
sect. 2, in which reasons for regarding the book as — in the main at least — 
not historical are already set forth. 

2 H'n Wd xSn Nn33 nVi n'n nV avx is a judgement attributed to an unnamed 
contemporary of Samuel b. Nachmani {Baba Bathra, 15a : Eng. tr., Kyle, 
Canon, 276 f.). Similarly in Bereshith Rabba, § 57, a judgement is attributed 
to Resh Lakish (3rd cent. A. D.)— though it is noted that this conflicts with 
another judgement assigned to the same Rabbi — to the effect that the suffer- 
ings of Job are not historical though, had they actually befallen him, he 
would have endured them. K*?! r\'^r\ vh 'nd . . . r\>r\:i n'?i rrn k"? arx nDx t5"pS r'l 
]n3 niDv"? '?i3' n'.T vSy ik3 i'7'Nt5' kSk v'7V i3n=3 •"'o'?'! t'^V i^nDJ^ cniD^a .thj. See, 
further, Isaac Wiernikowski, Das Buch Hiob nnch der Anffassung des 
Tahmid u. Midrasch (Breslau, 1902), p. 28. Maimonides {Moreh Nebuchitn, 
iii. 22) says of the book : " its basis is a fiction, conceived for the purpose 
of explaining the different opinions which people held on Divine Providence. 
You know that some of our sages clearly stated Job never existed, and 
was never created, and that he is a poetic fiction. Those who assume that 
he existed, and that the book is historical, are unable to determine when 
and where Job lived. . . . This difference of opinion supports the assump- 
tion that he never existed in realitv-" 

XXvi THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 7-8. 

Job ^ along- with Noah and Daniel, as a conspicuously righteous 
man. Among those — and they are all but all who have dis- 
cussed the subject — who admit that the author has utilized 
tradition or popular story, '^ there is, however, wide difference 
of judgement as to how much he has derived from thence, some 
holding that he owes nothing more to tradition (and that in 
the form of popular oral tradition) than that there was once a 
righteous man named Job,"^ others that the entire prologue and 
epilogue were excerpted by him from a book containing the 
popular story (a " Volksbuch").* Between these two extremes 
it is possible to hold as a middle view that the fundamental 
elements of the story — the righteousness of Job, his endurance 
under trial, etc. — the scene in which it is laid and the names of 
the persons are some or all of them derived from tradition ; if 
this were so, it might offer some suggestions as to whence the 
story came. 

§ 8. The scene of the book is outside the land of Israel. 
This might be explained as due to the deliberate choice of a 
" Wisdom " writer, seeking^ in this way to enforce the wide 
human and not merely national nature of his subject. If this 
were the correct explanation, the particular scene chosen by 

' It is quite unnecessary with Hal^vy {REJ xiv. 20) to substitute b*!:** for 
3VN in Ezk. 14'^- ■^". 

* On the divergence of the book of Job from the popular legend, 
whether written or oral, and for the history of the legend independently of 
our book of Job, see D. B. Macdonald, "Some External Evidence on the 
Original Form of the Legend of Job " (AJSL xiv. (1898) 137-164) and earlier, 
JBLit. xiv. 63-71. Macdonald suggests that not only Ezk. but also 
James (5'') refers to the legend, not to our book of Job. 

* So Karl Kautzsch, Das soge7iatiti/e Volksbuch von Hiob {igoo), 18 fF., 87. 
Rather more traditional basis is postulated bj' Che. : " Most probably all 
that he adopted from legend was (i) the name of the hero and the land in 
which he lived ; (2) the fact of Job's close intercourse with God ; and (3) 
the surprising circumstance that this most righteous and divinely favoured 
of men was attacked by some dread disease such as leprosy, but was 
subsequently healed " [EBi. ii. 2469). 

•• Du. (p. vii) : of the " Volksbuch the opening has been preserved in 
cc. I. 2 of the existing book of Job, the conclusion in 42'''" and also perhaps 
a fragment in 38' ; discussions between Job and the three friends, and a 
speech of Yaliweh to Job, also formed part of this popular book, but these 
have given place to discussions of an entirely opposite character in the ex- 
isting book." 


the writer would be of little sigriificance, and the reason for the 
author's choice withdrawn from us. On the other hand, if the 
scene was traditional, it may point to the region whence the 
story passed to Israel, just as the scene of the story and its 
place of origfin are associated in such a story as that of the 
Tower of Babel (Babylon). Broadly the scene is clearly fixed 
as east of Canaan ; but whether it lay in or about Edom or 
farther north, and in particular in the Hauran, is less certain, 
the evidence afforded by (i) names and terms (§§ 9-13), (2) 
tradition (§ 14), and (3) the nature of the country implied in the 
story (§ 15) being- inconclusive and conflicting. 

§ 9. (i) Nmnes and terms. — Job himself lived in the land of 

Us, and was, it is implied, one of the " sons of the East " (k) : 

unfortunately the position of the land of Us cannot be closely 

determined, and the "sons of the East" is a term of wide 


The "sons of the East" (cip '33 ; cp. ^v:r\^r\, Gn. 15"') in Jg. d^-^ f^ 8'" 
are coupled with Midianites and Amalekites as nomad raiders of Western 
Palestine, in Is. ii^-* they are opposed to the Philistines on the W. , and 
mentioned with, but probably as distinguished from, Edom, Moab and 
Ammon, and in Ezk. 25''- '" they are nomads (cp. Jer. 49^* nomads : |1 Kedar) 
distinguished from, as dwelling E. of, Ammon and Moab. In i K. 5'" (4^") 
they are merely mentioned as famed for their wisdom ; on Gn. 29' f, see 
below. The " land of the East " (D^p px) lay east of Abraham's settlement 
in southern Canaan (Gn. 2^). From Gn. 29' it has been inferred that the 
"sons of the East" and their land extended also to the far 7ior/ of 
Palestine, to beyond the Euphrates ; but this is a precarious inference from 
a composite narrative ; the source may rather have intended, as in Gn. 25*, 
country E. or sottth-east of Palestine (see Skinner on Gn. 29' ; Meyer, INS 
242 ff.) ; a southern, but not necessarily any far northern, district is implied 
in an Egyptian reference (about 2000 B.C.) to Kedem : in this Sinuhe relates 
that he passed out of Egypt into the desert, moved thence from place to 
place and arrived at Kedem, whence he was invited into Palestine : see W. 
Max Miiller, Asten u. Enropa, 46 ; Meyer, I.e. ; Breasted, Ancient Records, 

§ 10. The name 'Us (py) appears to be brought into connection with 
three distinct districts, (a) Northern Mesopotainia : to this district Gn. 10-^ 
(P)=i Ch. i^"'Us the "son " of .^ram is commonly referred : see Skinner, 
Genesis, p. 206. But apparently the same 'Us is (Gn. 22"') brother of Buz., 
who in Jer. 25'-'^ is associated with the distinctly Arabian Dedaii and T^ma. 
{b) Damascus and the country S. of it : Jos. (Ant. I. vi. 4 ; cp. Jer. Qucect. 
in Gen. \d^) states that Oi"(r?;s the son of Aiam [i.e. the 'Us of Gn. lo*'*) 
founded Damascus and Trachonitis, i.e. the volcanic country beginning 

XXviii THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 10-11. 

25 m. S. of Damascus and 40 m. E. of the sea of Galilee (see EBi. 
Trachomtis). (c) Edoni, or the neig;hboiirhood of Edom : in Gn. 36'-* = 
I Ch. i^- Us is a figure in the genealogy of " Seir in the land of Edom" 
{ib. -"'•). In La. 4-^ " the land of Us " (py px precisely as in Job i') stands 
in parallelism with Edom ; unfortunately some doubt rests on the text, for 
rhythmically the line can spare a word and ffli om. py ; however, the mere 
omission of pv with (K leaves an unsatisfactory phrase and an improbable 
text. Doubt also rests on pi'S >nN in Jer. 25-", for (G omits the clause con- 
taining it. If the geographical distribution of the term 'Us was as wide as 
this survey suggests, viz. from Edom to Northern Mesopotamia, this may 
have been due to 'U^, or rather 'Aus (ffi Kvalri^), itself certainly tribal 
rather than geographical, being the name of widely scattered tribes — Arab 

tribes, perhaps, deriving their name from a god 'Aud (^:»j:), as W. R. 
Smith suggested {Kinship, 261, and, in reply to No.'s criticism in ZDMG xl. 
183, Rel. of the Semites, 43). But though the tribes of 'Us were widely 
scattered, it would not necessarily follow that the whole region over which 
they were scattered, or several distinct districts within it, passed by the 
name of the land of Us. Apart from Job i', the only passage casting a 
direct light on the situation of the land of 'Uif is, if the text can be trusted, 
La. 4'^', and this decisively connects it with Edom. 

§ II. Of the three friends of Job, Eliphaz certainly appears 
to come from Edom, Bildad from a tribe that may have been 
closely associated with Edom, while Sophar's origin is very 
uncertain. (On the name and origin of Elihu, see 32- n.) 

Teman, the home of Eliphaz, lay at one, and that probably the 
northern, extremity of Edom (Ezk. 25'^), though other sites within Edom 
have been attributed to it (see EBi. s.v.). Shuah (Gn. 25^=1 Ch. i^-'-), 
Bildad's tribe, claimed descent from Abraham through Keturah, and, 
according to Gn. 25- t!5, was "uncle" of Sheba, Teman and Dedan, 
whence we may infer that Eliphaz and Bildad lived in regions not very 
remote from one another. The suggestion formerly put forward by Fried. 
Del. and accepted or favourably entertained by many writers (Dr. on 
Gn. 25'^; Peake on Job i^ ; G-B.^^^ s.v.; Meyer INS 314; Glaser, 
Skizsen, ii. 445!".), that Bildad's home was Suhu on the Euphrates — some 
weeks' journey from Teman — has been withdrawn by Del. himself (//'/od, 
p. 139). Sophar the Na'amathite certainly did not come from Na'amah 
(Jos. 15^^) in the Philistine plain (though Ley {Das Buck Hiob. 27) is 
willing to believe it, and to infer that he was intended to play the role of a 
representative of the religion of Israel !), nor necessarily from the Calebite 
Na'am (i Ch. 4''''), so that Sophar also would be an Edomite {EBi. 5427), 
nor from distant Ma'in in southern Arabia, or even from the Minaean colony 
or trading station at ElOla — which lay some three or four hundred miles 
S. of the home of hliphaz. ffi, it is true, describes Sophar as 6 Miz-aiwi* 
^affiXfus, thinking not of El-OIa, which as a trading colony would not be 
the seat of a king, but presumably of Main ijoo miles away ; but this is 


in accordance with its tendency to turn Job's iViends, great sheikhs ol 
neiijhbourini;' tribes, into kingfs and tyrants of nations. Barton (Jli/Jt., 
1912, p. 66), reviving' suggfstions of Wctzstein in Del., connects Na'amaliiite 
with en-No'eme in the Nukra (see § 14) — a sug^gestion that may fall in 
with but cannot establish a theory — and Teiiianite with Tema in the same 
reg-ion ; but judiciously finds the connection of Shuite with Sueta ( l , - ^ i, -). 
also in the same region, " unsatisfying." 

^ 12. Some of the personal names are sug^gestive, or 
possibly suggestive, of Edom. 

Not Job itself: nv.x is unknown in Hebrew literature except as the name 
of the hero of the book, for with 3V (Gn. 46'^: EV. Job), and, in spite of 
42" (&, 331' (Gn. lo'-"^), it has nothing to do. The name may, on the 
analogy of ni'?;, have suggested to Hebrew readers or hearers of the story 
the meaning "the object of enmity," though the form Sitsp regularly 
expresses an active sense ; alternatively it has been connected with the 

root which gives the Arabic '-r' J (penitent). But the etymology and the 
identification with the proper name A-ia-bu (Tel el-Amarna Tablet, 237^- ^^) 
are alike uncertain. If of foreign origin the name may have been modified 
in the course of Hebrew tradition so as to express a meaning. Eliphaz, 
on the other hand, is well authenticated as an Edomite name (Gn. 36""- = 
I Ch. i^^'-), though being of a(n early) type that was widely spread, it 
must not be assumed that the name was exclusively Edomite. Bildad 
(nSn, BaXSaS) is unknown except through the story of Job, though Che. 
[EBi. 4495) and Bu. recall the Edomite nia (Gn. 36^') : the first element 
perhaps recurs in the Edomite p'73, BaXaai^ (Gn. 36-'), which is also the 
name of a Benjamite (i Ch. 7^"), and in cvhz (Ammonite?; Nu. 22^) and 
'^z/h'D, (Babylonian-Jewish, Ezr. 2^) : the second element occurs in the 
Hebrew ^^'?^^• and elsewhere {HPN 60 ff.). Sophar as written in ^ in 11^ 
42'-' (iss: but lEJis in 2" 20^) is identical with the name of the father of 
Balak, king of Moab, as written in Nu. 22'" 23^^ (nss ; but iisis elsewhere). 
In G the name of Job's friend, 1co<pap, "Zocpap, is always distinguished from 
Balak's father '^eircpuip, Se^wp. In pj iSis does not occur except in Job ; but 
Sw0ap occurs in Gn. 36'^- ^^ {%] iss), i Ch. i^" (11) '21:) in Edomite genealogies 
and in close connection with Eliphaz and Teman. The Palmyrene niss 
(Lidz. A'SE 359; Eph. i. 347, ii. 293, 312) is ^e(f><pepa (cp. De Vogu^, S^rie 
Centrale, p. 15), and so probably is '-iSi- (Lidz. i. 199, ii. 303). 

§ 13. The references to Sheba (i^^) and the " Chaldaeans " 
(i^'^) as raiding Job have also been invoked in determining 
the situation of his home: thus Dhorme {RB, 191 1, 105) con- 
cludes that "nous sommes amenes au nord-ouest de I'Arabie 
quelque part au sud de Ma'an," i.e. to the frontiers of PZdom. 
Yet even if the terms are correctly read, such a conclusion 
is probably too precise. 

XXX THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 13-15. 

(K in i'* has oi alxfia\u)Tei'ovTfs ( = n3r taken collectively), and in " oi 
iirwe'ii, which may be an interpretation of c'lB'^ (see phil. n. on i^'), or a 
translation of a different text— of D-iyii) (Che. ^T" viii. 433) rather than of 
□-C3T (Nestle, ib.) or c'rin (Homniel, ib. 378 f., 431). Barton {JBLit., 1912, 
67) follows ffi : Che. {EBi. 96S, 2469) emends Dnc-D into D^'CD (north- 
Arabian) Cushites, and Hommel {I.e.) into D^'jin, those of Havilah. None of 
these suggestions, however, is more probable than J^. But what does JiJ 
mean? That Job, a great sheikh indeed but not a monarch, was raided 
by the forces of two distant and famous kingdoms — the Chaldaeans of 
Babylonia and the Saba^ans (see on i^^)— is unlikely even in fiction. Even 
if this is the meaning, which seems highly unlikely, any part of the land of 
the children of the E. would have been as likely as any other to receive an 
attack from this curious combination. But if d'ib'^ here and in 2 K. 24- 
are nomads E. or S.E. (note the order in 2 K., particularly if Di.v be read 
for mx) of Judah (see on \^^, also Dhorme, RB, 1910, 384 ; 191 1, 105), Job's 
home must no doubt be placed not too far north, but whether it is 7ieeessary 
to place it farther south than the Hauran is questionable. The Sheba 
intended, though not the south Arabian kingdom, certainly lay south of 
Edom (i''^n.). 

§ 14. (2) Tradition, Christian (from the 4th cent, a.d.) and 
Moslem, persistently connect Job with the Hauran,^ and more 
exactly with the Nukra, " the great plain of the Haiiran and 
the granary of Syria" (Baedeker, Palestine'^, 183), where Der 
'Eyyub, some forty miles S.S.W. of Damascus, perpetuates Job's 
name to the present day. Dhorme (i?i?, 191 1, 103 f.), however, 
explains this tradition as due to a series of confusions, and 
finds traces of an early alternative Christian tradition in 
Chrysostom on Job 2^ and 'Isho'dad (f c. 850) on Job i\ who 
speaks of a land of 'Us still existing in Arabia. However this 
may be, still earlier association of Job with Edom is certainly 
found in the appendix to (5, which makes Job a king of Eldom. 

§ 15- (3) '^^^ nature of the country in which Job's home 
lay, if considered by itself, would point strongly to such a 
district as the Hauran rather than to Edom. For Job's home 
lay in a country of great farms, at once near a town and yet 
open to the desert (see on i^*^, p. 2). But Edom, the home of 
Esau, was among the Hebrews proverbially distinguished from 
such country as being '* away from the fatness of the earth and 
from the dew of heaven" (Gn. 27^^). Job obviously in habit 

1 See VVetzstein's Appendix in Del. ; Clermont-Ganneau, Rec. d Arch^o- 
logie Orientale, v. 1 1 ff. ; Guy Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 

5 '5- 


of life more nearly resembles Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, than 

Thus a number of small considerations combine to sug-gest, 
thoug-h not to prove, that certain elements in the story of Job 
came to Israel from or through Edom ; but others, while still 
compatible with an Eastern origin, would seem to indicate that 
certain features of the story, if originally Edomite, have become 
blurred and indistinct or transformed. 

§ l6. More recently quite a different class of evidence from 
that already considered has been adduced in order to suggest 
that the ultimate source of Job is in Babylonian literature. In 
this case it is not the scene and the names, but the substance 
of the story, and in particular the speeches of Job, that are 
involved. The particular Babylonian poem^ which has pro- 
voked this theory has sometimes been described as the 
"Babylonian Job." The hero of the poem — a king, as most 
have concluded — was named Tabi-utul-Bel (Jastrow), or Subsi- 
mesri-Nergal (Landersdorfer), Tabi-utul-Bel in the latter case 
being another king warned by Ur-bau in a dream to take a 
message to Subsi-mesri-Nergal. Tabi-utuI-Bel is described as 
dwelling in Nippur, and the god Marduk is mentioned: other 
names of places and persons do not occur. 

The poem opens : 

I will praise the Lord of Wisdom, 

1 It has survived fragmentarily in several copies of the 7th cent. B.C., 
and a commentary on the poem has also been discovered ; and so we may 
infer that, probably itself far older than the 7th cent., the poem was then 
still much read and studied. It appears to have extended to four tablets, 
containing about 300, or perhaps about 480 lines : of the first tablet only a 
few lines survive, of the second the greater part, of the third and fourth less 
— in all, probably somewhat more or less than a half. The poem is mostly 
in 4 : 4 rhythm (Job is in 3:3: see § 52). On the history, restoration and 
interpretation of the poem, see M. Jastrow, Rel. Bab. u. Assyr. ii. 120-133 ! 
JBLit., 1906, 135-191 ; Contemporary Review, Dec. 1906, 801-808; S. 
Landersdorfer, " Eine babylonische Quelle f. d. B. J. " [Biblische Studieti, 
xiv. 2), 191 1 ; Martin, " Le juste souffrant," \r\ Journal Asiatique , loth series, 
xvi. 75-143. See also Zimmern in i^^ T'^ 384-386 (where parallelism not 
with Job, but with the servant of Yahweh is suggested) ; Rogers, CP 164- 
169 (translation of the second tablet) ; R. Campbell Thomson, PSBA, 1910, 
18 ff. Further Uterature is given by Jastrow and Landersdorfer (pp. 1 1-14). 

XXxii THE BOOK OF JOB [fi 16. 

presumably for release from the sufferings, which the rest of what survives 

of the first tablet describes : 

Although a [kin]g, I have become a slave. 

The day is filled with groaning, the night with weeping: 

The night witii howling, the year with mourning (cp. Job 7"-). 

The second tablet opens as follows : 
I attained to (long) life, I moved beyond the appointed time ; 
(Wherever) I turn, (there is) evil, evil ; 
Oppression is increased, righteousness I see not ; 

and then after recording that he had appealed to his god, his goddess and 
various classes of enchanters, etc. (11. 4-9), he passes on to say that trouble 
has overtaken him as though he had been negligent in his religious duties 
(12-23), whereas he was only conscious of having been exemplary in his 
conduct : 

But I myself took thought only for prayers and supplications, 

Prayer was my rule, sacrifice my order. 

This passage concludes with the lines : 
The respect of the king I made of highest power :^ 
In reverence of the palace I instructed the people : 
For I knew that before the god such deeds are in good favour. 

This is immediately followed by reflections on the mysterious ways and 
judgements of the gods, which are beyond the comprehension of man's short 
life and subject to sudden changes of fortune : 
That which seemeth good to itself, that is evil with god : 
And that which in its heart is rejected, that is good with his god. 
Who can understand the counsel of the gods in heaven ? 
The plan of the gods full of darkness, who shall establish it ? 
How shall pale-faced men understand the way of the god ! (cp. Job 4"'-). 
He who lives in the evening is in the morning dead (cp. Job 34^ 27''' 4'*'-)' 
Quickly is he in trouble, suddenly is he smitten ; 
In a moment he is singing and playing. 
In an instant he is howling like a complainer ; 
Every moment, so are their thoughts changed. 
Now they are hungry, and are like a corpse. 
Again they are full, and like unto their god. 
If it go well with them, they speak of climbing up to heaven : 
If they be in trouble, they talk of going down to hell. 

The suffering king now describes his sufferings and the symptoms of 
his malady : the particularity of the description and some of the figures 
employed recall Job's descriptions of himself; of this long description it 
it must suffice to cite a few hnes : 
With a whip he has beaten me, — 

With a staff he has pierced me, the point was strong. 
All day long doth follow the avenger, 

' Variant : like a god. Jastrow supposes that the king had sinned in 
allowing the people to pay him divine honour. 


In the middle of the nijfht he lets mo not breathe for a moment (cp. 

Jb. 7'=«- 3o'").i 
Throiig-h teariii^s my joints are sundered, 
My limbs are imdone . . . 

Upon my couch I passed the night like a bull, 
I was covered with my excrement like a sheep. 
My symptoms of fever were not clear (?) to the magicians. 

He felt himself forsaken, in immediate prospect of death, and already 
given up for dead : 

The god helped me not, he took me not by the hand ; 

My goddess did not pity me, she came not to my side. 

The sarcophagus hath opened (cp. Jb. 17'- '^'O . . . 

Before I was dead, the death wail was finished. 

My whole land cried out, "Alas!" (or, He is ruined). 

Mine enemy heard, his face glowed, 

To my female enemy they brought the good tidings, her spirits brightened up. 

The opening Une of the third tablet, " Heavy was his hand, I could no 
more endure it" (cp. Jb. 23- ffi), seems to represent the sufferer as reduced 
to despair. But God now intervenes on his behalf: for at this point, so far 
as can be judged from the broken and difficult text, a revelation relating to 
the sufferer's case is communicated to him. When the text becomes clearer 
again, the sufferer is obviously recording the removal of his sins and of the 
various symptoms of his illness : 

My sins he caused the wind to carry away ; 

Into the depths of the abyss he sent back the evil spirit ; 

and the poem appears to conclude with the restoration of the sufTerer to 
the favour of Marduk. 

§ 17. Among the points of resemblance between this poem 
and Job are the poetical form, the subject, viz. the sudden reduc- 
tion of a man of great position, who had already lived a long- 
and prosperous life, to great misery of mind, body and estate, 
the long description of his sufferings put into the mouth of the 
sufferer,^ the contrast between these sufferings and the kind of 
life to which his long-maintained piety might have been 
expected to lead, the reflections on the mysteries of God's 
dealings with mortals. These resemblances are certainly 
noticeable, but the differences are equally striking. The 
names of the persons, the topography, the rank^ of the sufferer 

^ Parallels to this are frequent among the so-called Babylonian "peni- 
tential Psalms" and the Hebrew Psalms [e.g. 22. 102). 

- Landersdorfer rightly insists that the transformation of a king into 
a sheikh is against the normal tendency of popular tradition. 


are all dilferent : there is no parallel in the Babylonian work to 
the combination of narrative ^ and discourse in Job, there is no 
parallel at all to the dialogue which forms so conspicuous and 
disting-uishing a feature of Job : there is a sharp and crucial 
difference between the two works on the question of guilt as a 
cause of the sufferings described ; Yahweh in the Prologue and 
Job in his speeches agree in asserting the innocence of Job ; 
Yahweh asserts the perfection of Job's character, and Job is 
certain that his sufferings cannot be explained by any sin that 
he has committed. On the other hand, the Babylonian sufferer, 
though he is conscious of having been punctilious in the dis- 
charge of duties the neglect of which would have explained his 
sufferings, is anything but certain that he has not committed 
some sin which, unknown to him, may have been displeasing to 
the gods and therefore the cause of his sufferings ; and he 
more or less clearly admits that he had done amiss. His 
problem is to discover what it is that he has done to displease 
the gods and so to bring his sufferings upon himself. Job s 
problem is to understand how God can plague him though he 
has done nothing to displease Him. Finally, the difference in 
the name and country of the heroes of the two works points 
strongly away from, at any rate, any close connection between 
them. 2 At present, at all events, it cannot be said that any 
Babylonian source of the book of Job has been made out. 

§ l8. Whence and in what form the story used by him came 
to the author of the book of Job, what predecessors he may 
have had in the employment of dialogue as a literary form, are 
questions that evidence external to the book and such internal 
evidence as we have so far examined answer at best very 
incompletely and uncertainly. But there are some who find a 
much more precise answer at least to the question in what form 

1 Even if the two or three Hnes mentioning- the name and residence of 
Tabi-utul-Bel were, as Jastrow claimed, narrative, standing- as they do in 
the middle of the poem and being themselves in verse, they would form no 
real parallel to the sustained prose narrative of the Prologue and Epilogue 
of Job. 

- Che (EBt. 2469) suggests a different Babylonian origin for both the 
Hebrew story and the name of its hero : 'lyyob is Eabani, the friend of 


the story came to the author of the existing" book. On the 
ground of differences in style and in other respects it has 
been claimed that the Prolog'ue and Epilogue are the work 
of a writer not identical with the author of the Dialogue,^ but 
that the latter extracted these from a prose book of Job,^ and 
inserted his Dialogfue between them. 

There is one difference between Prologfue and Epilog"ue on 
the one hand and Dialogue on the other that mig-ht at first 
seem to point to a use of sources in Job similar to that apparent 
in the Pentateuch : the Prologue and Epilogue employ, the 
Dialogue (3—31) studiously avoids, the use of the name Yahweh, 
regularly employing in its stead God (EI, Eloah) or, like P, 
the Almighty (Shaddai). 

§ 19. The use of the divine names in different pearls of the book is as 
follows : 


Number of Occurrences in 


Cc^K 2^and cc. 3_3,. Cc. 32-37. Cc. 38-42". 









1 (129) 









* In an earlier stage of criticism, a theory (now generally and rig-htly 
abandoned), according to which the Dialogue was written first and the 
Prologue and Epilogue were added later by another writer, gained some 
currency : so, according to K. Kautzsch, to whose dissertation, Das 
sogenannte Volksbuch von Hiob, 3ff., reference may be made for the 
history of this theory, first Simon (1685), then Schultens (1737), Hasse 
(1789), Stuhlmann (1804), de Wette (1807), Studer (1875), who threw out 
the suggestion that the original introduction to the poem exists in c. 29 f. 
[Jahrb. f. protest. Theologie, i. 706 ff.). S. Lee (1837) held that Job com- 
mitted the speeches to writing, and that Moses added the Prologue and 

2 So Du. most incisively (see p. xxvi, n. 4). For earlier theories of the 
Prologue (and Epilogue) as derived from or resting on an earlier popular 
(prose) book of Job, see Che. /06 and Solomon, p. 66 ff. ; Hoffmann ; Bu. 

XXXvi THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 19-20. 

fi'Vv never occurs in Job, nor Sxn, for in view of the frequent occurrence 
of Sx without the article it would be illegitimate to assume its presence with 
the particles S and 3 (fH ha':, ht<T) in "13" 21^* 22'^ 31-8 33* 34'»- 3v (cp. G_B. 
pp. 36b, 37a). The pi. D''?x occurs nowhere in the existing- text, nor should 
it be introduced by emendation (Che.) in 41'W. 'jnx occurs only in 28^8. 
The terms regularly used in other parts of the book never occur in the 
Prologue and Epilogue, and the terms used in the Prologue and Epilogue 
occur either not at all or very rarely, or only under special circumstances, in 
the other parts of the book : thus the single occurrence in cc. 3-31 of 
m.T is in 12^ — an interpolated v., and the five occurrences in 38-42*311 occur 
not in the speeches, but in the narrative links (38' 40'- ^* * 42^) ; the three 
occurrences of D'hSk in 3-31 are in c. 28"^ (probably an interpolated c), 20-" 
a rhythmically overloaded line, and 5^, where perchance D'nSx has arisen from 
ni7X under the influence of the following D'B'n ; and of two occurrences in 
32-37, one occurs in the prose introduction (32-), the other in 34" which may 
be an interpolation. In part the difference of usage in different parts of the 
book is merely part of the diff"erence between the language of prose and 
that of poetry : so at least we may account for the use of hn to the almost 
complete exclusion of crhn in the poetical parts. But the use of hn, ntj- and 
ni'?N to the complete exclusion of m.T in the speeches must be due to the fact 
that the speakers are represented as living before, or outside the sphere of, 
the revelation of the name Yahweh ; on the other hand, the narrator, alike 
in the Prologue and Epilogue and in 38-42*, regularly uses Yahweh. Again, 
as the term Yahweh is avoided in the speeches of 3-42", so is it absent from 
the words of Job in 1' 2"*, and of the messenger in i^*, and of Job's wife in 
2*, D'n'7K (a) being used instead ; only in i^i is Yahweh used in words of Job, 
this speech thus differing not only from the longer speeches of 3-42* but 
also from the briefer sayings in i. 2. Whether or not this difference within 
the Prologue can be satisfactorily explained, in view of the difference of 
usage in speeches within the Prologue and the identity of usage in narrative 
in the Prologue and in 38-42* (in 3-31 there is no opportunity for the use of 
ni.T in narrative), it is very precarious to infer from the use of the divine 
names that the Prologue and Dialogue are the work of different writers. 
Other differences maj' be more significant: viz., in c. 28 the use (see p, 
232 n.) of Elohim and Adonai and the greater relative frequency of *?« in 
32-37 (see § 24). 

§ 20. If the differing use of the divine names in the Prologue 

and Dialogue and the mere fact that the one is prose, the other 

poetry do not point to difference of authorship, certainly nothing 

else in the style and vocabulary does so : on the other hand, 

there are certain noticeable similarities of usage which, if they 

do not by themselves prove, yet rather favour the common 

authorship, or, failing that, a rather thorough assimilation by 

the author of the one of the style of the other. 

Thus Prologue and Dialogue agree in describing Job as perfect and in 
expressing this preferably by the forms on and nen as against the forms D'Db 


and c'n which are more frequent in other books (see n. on i'). The particle 

d'^ik is a common characteristic of various parts of the book, being as 
frequent in Job as in the whole of the rest of the OT. (see phil. n. on 33') ; 
note also V^^, meaning- /o destroy (2^* n.) ; 113, to console 2'' 42", tj, 16' (2^' n.) ; 
'3 ':d Vi' (defiantly), i'^ ('£3 '?«, 2' J3'*)6-^ 2i3',Q';n of Job's three friends(2" 19"'), 
njo, 2'^ 16" (but 3XDD in Elihu, Z'^'^)- Most of these with several other — 
mostly insig-nificant — similarities of vocabulary are given in K. Kautzsch, 
Das sogenatmte Volksbuch von Hiob, pp. 39-44. Noticeable also in this con- 
nection is the presence in 2"* of the very pronounced Aramaism hzp (for 
Hebrew npS), as a companion of the Aramaisms of the Dialogue (§§ 28, 47). 
It may be observed that these similarities — for what they may possess of 
positive worth — are confined to the Prologue, and do not extend to the 

Other grounds for assuming- difference of authorship have 
been sought in certain supposed inconsistencies of details, such 
as the alleged reference in 19^^ (but see n. there) to Job's 
children as still living, or of general attitude and purpose (but 
see §§ 32 ff.). But whether the author was content to provide 
his dialogue with a ready-made setting, which, according to 
the exponents of this theory, was incongruous and out of 
harmony with his own purpose, or whether he moulded the 
more plastic material of oral story to his own purpose, the work 
in either case as it left his hands consisted of Prologue, Dialogue 
and Epilogue. We have next to inquire how far this work 
has been affected by subsequent expansion, mutilation or ether 

§ 21. Apart from shorter passages,^ which have been 
suspected of being additions to the original text, but which, 
even if such, do not affect the general structure of the work, 
there are two sections which are or have been under suspicion 
of being in whole or in part additions, and a third which has 
probably been in some way seriously modified.^ The sections 
in question are : 

^ See particularly the commentary on 7* lo^" ii*"" i23b. 4-12 j^30a i69c-ii 
178-10 ao"*- -•'•' 21-^ 22'"^- 23*^- 24 (introductory note). 

^ Reference may also be made here to the theory that the scenes in 
heaven (i®'^' 2''^^) are additions to the original Prologue (so, e.g., Kon. Einl. 
415) : certainly i'"* connects formally in a certain respect (see n. on i'^) even 
better with 1^ than with i^-, and by reading "And Yahiveh smote" in 2'"' 
this might attach though rather abruptly to i"-. But a theory which on 
inadequate grounds destroys, as this does, the dramatic effectiveness of the 
Prologue is not to be accepted. 

XXXviii THE ROOK OF JOB [§ 21. 

(a) Cc. 25-28, the conclusion of the third cycle of speeches ; 
{b) Cc. 32-37, Elihu; (c) Cc. 38^-42^, the speeches of Yahweh. 

(a) Cc. 25-28.^ — Down to 24 the interchange of speeches 
has proceeded quite regularly, a speech of one of the friends, 
ranging in length from 19 to 34 distichs, receiving in reply a 
speech of Job, in every case longer and in the present probably 
expanded text of cc. 12-14 much longer. Each of the friends 
has spoken twice : Eliphaz has also spoken a third time and 
received Job's reply. After c. 28 there follows a speech of Job 
(29-31) which, like his opening speech (3), is neither addressed 
to, nor takes any account of, the friends, though, unlike 3, it 
is in part, though a very small part, addressed to God (3020-23^. 
Thus the conclusion of the dialogue proper is to be sought in 
or within 25-28, or rather 25-27, for 28 is, as a quiet impersonal 
description of Wisdom, differing from the Dialogue in its use of 
the divine names (§ 19) and for various reasons discussed in the 
commentary, best regarded as an independent poem, which 
formed no part of the original work. 

Now 25-27 at present contain a brief speech of Bildad (25^"^, 
consisting of 5 distichs only as against the 19 distichs of the 
shortest of the preceding speeches, viz. Sophat's first speech), 
and one longer speech (of about 35 distiches), or rather (cp. 27^) 
of two shorter speeches (of about 13 and 22 distichs respectively), 
addressed by Job to Bildad in particular (26^-*), or, like Job's 
previous speeches, to the three friends in common (27^"^). In 
the brevity of Bildad's third speech and the absence of the 
attribution of any third speech to Sophar, it has frequently 
been held that the poet provided a formal indication that the 
friends had exhausted their arguments and thrown up their 
case. This explanation might be more favourably entertained, 
if everything else in 22-27 containing the third cycle of speeches 
were in order ; but this is not so. Even in c. 24, as is pointed 
out in the commentary, there is more or less matter that fits 
ill in a speech of Job: in 26 f. there is much more: and indeed 
we may analyse 26 f. into (i) matter appropriate to a speech of 

* Cp. G. A. Barton, "The Composition of Job 24-30," in JBLit., 191 1, 
66 ff. 


Job's and inappropriate to a speech of one of the friends — 
2*^2-6.(11)12. ^2) matter inappropriate (for opinions to the con- 
trary, see the commentary) to a speech of Job, but appropriate 
to the friends — 2y''~^'^- ^^~^ ; and (3) neutral matter, i.e. matter 
not inappropriate either in Job or the friends — 262-*- ^-1*. Now 
(2) has been by some (Stu. Bernstein, We. Sgf. Kue.) dismissed 
as consisting- of interpolations ; but, since so regarded they are 
entirely suitable, it is far more probable that these passages 
are contributions to the third round of the debate by Bildad 
and Sophar. In this case 25-27 should contain in whole or in 
part Bildad's third speech and Job's reply to it, and Sophar's 
third speech and (unless, as indeed might well be, the mono- 
logue in 29-31 takes the place of this) Job's reply to Sophar — 
in all four or, at least, three speeches. But from the limited 
extent of these chapters we must conclude that part only and 
not the whole of these four (or three) speeches survive. 

The thiee cc. contain the equivalent of about 40 distichs, whereas four 
speeches equalling in length only the shortest of the preceding speeches 
of Job, Bildad and Sophar would amount to about 95, three speeches to 
about 70 distichs. By assigning to Job all the neutral in addition to the 
positively appropriate matter, 20 distichs can be obtained for him which 
would perhaps suffice for one speech (his shortest previous speech ran to 
28 distichs) though certainly not for two ; but in this case there remain only 
20 distichs to be distributed among Bildad and Sophar which are far too 
few. On the other hand, if the neutral matter be assigned to Bildad and 
Sophar, even then there is scarcely enough to bring up their speeches to 
even approximate!}' normal length ; and the effect is to leave only 7 
distichs in all to Job — altogether insufficient for his reply to Bildad alone, 
even if 29-31 may be regarded as taking the place of any reply to 

The probability is great, not that to the third cycle Sophar 
contributed nothing and Bildad less than half a dozen distichs, 
but that the speeches of the third cycle have through some 
accident reached us in a very imperfect form, part of them 
having been lost, the remainder dislocated. This single hypo- 
thesis of mutilation of the text accounts at once for the whole 
of the peculiarities of the existing- close of the third cycle — the 
brevity of Bildad's speech, the absence of Sophar's, the utter- 
ance by Job of matter contradicting his own and in harmony 
with previous utterances of Bildad and Sophar, and the attri- 

xl THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 21-22. 

bution to Job of t^vo formal openings (26^-* 272"^) in reply to a 
single speech — the brief words of Bildad. 

But if there has been serious loss and dislocation of matter, 
the data for any complete or certain reconstruction of the third 
cycle do not exist. We cannot determine, for example, 
whether the loss has affected the speeches of Sophar and Bildad 
equally, whether Sophar's speech was wholly lost while most 
of Bildad's survives, or whether most of Sophar's but only a 
mere fragment of Bildad's has survived. The main point is to 
recognize that the passages inappropriate in the mouth of Job 
formed no part of his speech in the original poem. 

Under these circumstances it may suffice to record, without entering 
into particular criticism of them, some of the reconstructions whtch have 
been attempted. Most of those who find any of Sophar's speech find it in 
27'^'^ to which Gratz {Motiatsschriff, 1872, pp. 241-250) adds c. 28 as a 
development of Sophar's standpoint in ii^'^*". Marshall exceptionally 
attributes 252-6 26*-''* to Sophar; and Hi, {1894) 2f-'^'>-'^*-'^^. Among the 
reconstructions offered of Bildad's speech are the following: — (i) 25 + 28 
(Stuhlmann, 1804) ; (2) 25 + 265-" Elzas, The Book of Job (1872), p. 83, cited 
b^ Che. Book of Job, p. 114, n. i ; Che. ib, (in EBi. 2478 he regards these 
TV. as substituted for a lost third speech of Bildad) ; Reuss, Sgf. ; (3) 
26=-* + 252-6 26'-'^ (Du.); (4) 252-3 + 26'>-iS Peake ; (5) I5i7-i9 25^-«, Honth. ; 
(6) 25. 24I3-25, Hoffm. ; (7) 25. 2^^^'^ 2f^-^, Ley ; (8) 24I8-21, Marshall ; (9) 
25. 278-1"- '3-23, Bi. (1882) ; but, in 1894, 252-3 2612- 13. hc 254-6. 

§ 22. {b) Cc. 32—37. Elihu. — These cc. consist of a brief 
introduction in prose (32^^"^), and a long speech or series of 
speeches in verse delivered by Elihu. The cc. were obviously 
written to occupy their present position in the book: as 32^"^ 
explains, Elihu speaks when the three friends had ceased to 
reply to Job ; and in the speeches Elihu rebukes Job and the 
friends alike ; and from Job's previous speeches he cites actual 
words, or summarizes statements in them (p. 278), in order to 
refute them. But it is scarcely less obvious that the rest of the 
book was not written with any knowledge of these speeches ; 
and consequently that they formed no part of the original work. 
In contrast to Elihu's frequent direct reference to the friends 
and to Job, there is no reference, direct or indirect, in any 
other part of the book to Elihu ; the Prologue gives the setting 
for the debate that follows, and explains how the three 


friends who subsequently take part in it come to be present, 
but it says nothing" of Elihu, and the special prose introduction 
to Elihu's speeches only partially supplies the omission ; it 
gives a reason why Elihu speaks, it gives no reason why he is 
present. Neither Job nor the friends take the slightest notice 
of Elihu's attacks on them, or of his arguments ; his speech is 
of greater length than any that have gone before, but no one 
interrupts him while he is speaking, no one has a word to say 
of or to him when he has done. Job's last speech closes with 
an appeal to God to answer him (ji^''*), and Yahweh's reply- 
opens {38-) with words obviously addressed to the person who 
has just finished speaking ; since this cannot be Elihu but must 
be Job, Yahweh's opening admits of no intervening speech of 
Elihu. F'inally, in the Epilogue Yahweh expresses a judgement 
on what Job has said and what the three friends have said, but 
makes not the slightest reference to Elihu. Thus this entire 
section can be removed from the book without any sense of 
loss or imperfection in its construction being created. 

But the speeches are not only superfluous, they are also 
destructive of the effect of what follows. They are superfluous, 
because they add nothing substantial to what the friends have 
said except in so far as they anticipate what Yahweh is to say ; 
they fail, as those speeches had failed, to meet Job's case. 
They repeat arguments, and even words of the friends (see 
239. 19.26 2^7.s-ii. 2if. 2-5-7 ^^jt^ nn. there). But they also antici- 
pate (32^^—3721) in part what Yahweh says (38^"^^) — a fact which 
is entirely explained, if the writer had before him or in his 
mind the whole book, the speech(es) of Yahweh equally with 
those of the friends, but most unnaturally if they were the work 
of the original author who intended Yahweh's speech to round 
off the debate. 

§ 23. Further in the style and language of these chapters 
there is, in spite of very much that is common to,i much that 

' See Bu. Beitriige, 92-123; W. Posselt, Der Verf asset d. Elihu Reden 
(1909), 67-1 1 1. The common features are the natural result of the 
familiarity of the writer with the book which he was supplementing ; so, 
e.g., he naturally uses the same names for God, but (see § 24) with differing 
relative frequency. 



[§§ 23-24. 

is notably different from the rest of the book, alike in the 
verbose prose of 32^'^ as compared with the Prologue, and in 
the poetry of the speeches as compared with the other speeches 
in the book. Some differentiation in the style and even in 
vocabulary (Eliphaz, for example, alone uses nxT in the sense of 
religion, 4^ n.) might be attributed to dramatic differentiation : 
and we might seek to explain the prolixity of these speeches as 
a dramatist's indication that the speaker is a wise young man 
who is conscious of possessing much more wisdom than his 
elders, and makes up for lack of real contribution to a discus- 
sion by the abundance and violence of his speech ; and yet 
such an explanation, however consonant with the impression 
made on many readers by Elihu's speeches, is not true to the 
writer's own intention (see on 2^^'^^)- And in any case there 
remains much which cannot be attributed to dramatic differ- 
entiation, and which, z'n the mass, is most reasonably attributed 
to diversity of authorship. 

§ 24. (i) Elihu shows a marked relative preference for isx, 
using this term more frequently than all other terms for God 
together, whereas in the Dialogue niijx is used with the same 
frequency, and ^T." also frequently (§ 18). 

Naturally enough even in the Dialogue the relative frequency of the 
three terms differs in different groups of cc. ; but never does the differ- 
ence in any six consecutive cc. equal that found in the six cc. of Elihu's 
speech ; and the occurrences in Bildad's speeches are too few for a safe 
comparison. The following table will serve to bring out the differences : 

Occurrences in 








Rest of the Book 

Job's Speeches down to c. 24 

Cc. 26-31 

Eliphaz's Speeches 

Bildad's ,, ... 








Sophar's ,, 

Cc. 3-8 





.. 9-'4 




n 15-20 






The net result of Bu.'s additions and omissions is to reduce the occur- 
rences of mSx and nc by one each. He adds Sn in 32^ 33^ and omits 
33* 36^^ containing *?«, 35'' containing '^^5', and 37" containing diVn (also 34' 
containing Dti'jn). 

Throughout the Dialogue the three names are used without marked 
preference for any one of them, a more frequent use of one of them, 
in say a dozen occurrences of all three being balanced by a more frequent 
use of the others in the following passage : note these most striking cases : 
in cc. 3-7 ^K, ni'?x, 'if occur — i, 8, 3 times respectively, in c. 8 — 4, o, 2 ; in 
cc. 9-1 1 — I, 5, I ; in cc. 12-15 — 8, 3, 2 ; in c. 22 — 3, 2, 5. One considera- 
tion governing the choice of the names may be noted : where in each line of 
a distich a divine name is used (often the parallelism, if expressed at all, is 
expressed by means of a pronoun), a marked preference is shown for 'ir as 
one of the two : this is true of all parts of the book : in Elihu "i^ occurs 
four times in parallelism with another divine term, twice at most not in such 
parallelism ; in the rest of the book it occurs 17 times in, 8 times not in 
parallelism with another term. On the other hand, *?« occurs in Elihu 15 
times not in parallelism against 4 times in parallelism, and in the rest of 
the book 23 times not in parallelism against 13 times in parallelism. Thus 
the relative infrequency of nc in Elihu's speeches is but another side of a 
difference between those speeches and the rest of the book : in Elihu a 
single divine name with no expressed parallel is a more frequent occurrence 
than elsewhere. Finally, when but a single name is used, Elihu shows a 
very marked preference for Sn {^k, 15 ; ni'^'N, 6), the rest of the book a slight 
preference for m'?^ (Sk, 23 ; ni'^K, 27). 

§ 25. (2) Elihu shows a decidedly increased preference for 
"•JN rather than "'JJN. 

The occurrences of the two forms of the ist pers. pronoun in various 
parts of the book is as follows : 



Prologue ... .... 


Yahweh (40'-') 

42* ( = 21="') 






° 1 


xliv THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 25 -26. 

To avoid either over- or under-emphasizing the significance of the 
figures, a closer analysis of the usage is needed. Increased preponderance 
of '3X over 'DJX, in so far as it is due to the age of the writing, is due to late- 
ness (Dr. LOT 155 n.). The four occurrences of '3N in the Prologue would 
therefore be striking, if the}' were really four ; but they are merely the 
four-times repeated phrase na"? ':»< pn nc"7DNi, where ':« follows a particle as 
it frequently does in both the Dialogue and Elihu. Too slight again is the 
use in 40''* and 42'' (a virtual quotation of 21^) to throw light on either the 
age or authorship of these passages. 

As between the Dialogue and Elihu, while some of the difference might 
be otherwise explained, some of it is most reasonably attributed to the 
difference of authorship and the somewhat later date of cc. 32-37. One 
occurrence of '^:n in the Dialogue is due to a repetition (12^=13^) probably 
not in the original text ; another is open to some doubt (see phil. n. on 21'* 
where 5 omits "r:N). So also one occurrence of 'J.x (9-') may be secondary. 
Similarly in Elihu one occurrence of 'JN occurs in a repetition (32""*=''''). 
Allowing for these textual uncertainties the ratio in the Dialogue is 
14 : 9, in Elihu 8 : 2. Both agree in using both forms for the prefixed 
subj. of a vb. : so in Elihu la'cx 'jn 35-', but n3iN 'Djki B-nnn 33^1 (cp. 21^) ; in the 
Dialogue "itnt ':n 5^ and so, though always after 1 or other particles, and, 
except in tg"^, with the impf , 5^ 6'-'* 7^' 13^- ^® 19-^- '-'', but nniN '3jni 'jiNty 21^ 
and with preceding ] or other particle 9''* 13^- 14'* 16'*, and without preceding 
], 9-". As the subj. of a non-verbal pred., Elihu uses 'JN in 33'''^ 32^, '3:n only 
in 33"'', where desire for a variation in a parallel line may account for the 
use of the (with Elihu) very infrequent form ; the Dialogue so uses ':x in 7'" 
920 /• =21^ 29I5, but with equal frequency 'o:t< 9^^ 1 2^ ( = 13^) 29'^. After particles 
(other than ]), while Elihu uses '3N exclusively (':« ']N32""' ( = i"t') na^ ,jj^ j,, ^36^ 
':x Di 33*, ':k N'T! 34^'"), the Dialogue uses both (':n dVin 5^ 13^, ':k qj 7" 132 
'3N '3 13!^, '3N ^s'7^ 15'^, 'JNi&'N \^ , and '3:n 'd rjK 9", '3:n dj iG*, 'don.t 2i''(?)). In 
particular, the contrast is interesting between m^nx caa '33n dj i6'* and '3K jn 
h\/h TD3 j^'^. To sum up ; whereas in the Dialogue '3:x is a frequent alter- 
native to 'JN, in Elihu '3:n occurs only in 33'*', a reminiscence of 2\^, and in 
3386 ■where '3:n is a parallel term to ':n in '^•^^. 

% 26. (3) Similarly Elihu makes distinctly less use of certain 
rarer forms of particles and pronominal suffixes. 

No doubt several of these forms occur too infrequently to 
have separately much or any sig-nificance. But the sig-nificance 
of the whole group is hardly to be cancelled by the considera- 
tions which Bu. and Pc sselt have brought forward. The 
usages may be tabulated thus : 


Occurrences of 

In Elihu 

Rest of 
Job (R). 

Rest of OT. 

rW (6^ 7* nn.)i 

{nil.. .... 




2 (7* 20^^) 

10 {Isaiah, p. 467) 


/•'■033 .... 

W .... 








'^0'' .... 




''7a*' (without prefix) 




r ioS» .... 



liDi-jj;'" .... 



§ 27. (4) In certain cases E expresses ideas common to 
himself and R by diderent terms : e.g: ^^ (p. 2J4), 0"^^^ (except 
in E, only in the probably interpolated v. 12^) in lieu of Un 
(p. 3), "lyb in lieu of 0'")^^ (p. 2jo)- Cp. also 32^ n., 33^ n., and 
the phil. nn. on n:y?o 32^, •'[ji-s 36^ (ct. ^3t:;y 31^^), y''t:'T 34^2^ 
Note also that E always uses ''t|'3N in phrases of the type Vt^'l 'N 
(34«- 10- 31- 30 . in 27'^ the text is probably corrupt), whereas 
elsewhere in such phrases ^np is always employed (11^^ 19^'-* 22^^ 

1 The occurrences in Job are in 6^ 7I (Qre) 8^ g^s 1527 le's igio 20'' 29^- ^-v 
38-'* 41^^ I 33'^ 36-^. Add perhaps 31'-^ (1. en 'h]i). Cp. the occurrences of Vy 
in the poetical parts of the book: R 48+12 (Syi), E 15+ i ('?yi). Note 
further in R nj; and 'W always, and ''^l', except in four cases (16^^ 18"* 29*- *), 
occur before a tone syllable (7^ n.): both cases in E are before toneless 
syllables (33^^ 36"^). ny occurs R 21, E 2 (32'^ 34="* nsj ly) ; hn R 22, E 5. 

^3" 5'" 15" 291". 

^(gso) le-'-s 19I6 I 378, Is. (251") 432 4416- 1", Ps. ii2. 

4 6»5 io22biB 123 j^g ig22 285 ^jST 38!^ 40!^ ^l^^. 

' There would be one occurrence in E, if in 33^^ we read D'nD b^. 

6 27" 292^ 38^" 40''. 

7 5i(i ^6 g3. 25 I jg 1222 ,411 ,^22. 30 ig-.s ,817 2o'« "i'' 28' 30''"* 31^ | 33IS. 23. ao_ 

« 8" 24i'> 308 3i3« 38- 39i« 41 >8 42^ I 23^ 34'- 

9 3I4 519 1^21 1^28 22'7. 19 2^^^- " 30^^ 39^. Against these ten occurrences of 
is'? there are in E i, in R 4 cases of on'? : Mandelkern, Concord. Mbior, 
811 f. 

^^ Three (20^^ 22^ 27^^: cp. also 18™ ffi : see nn. on the passages), if the 
text is correct = v'?y (which occurs in E 4, in R 20 times) : five times (6'® 21" 
3o2- 5 29-2) = D.T'?y (which occurs once in E, twice in R). Statistics based on 
Mandelkern, Concord. Minor, 528, 529. Note also id'sd, 27^^^ G-K. 91/. 

xlvi THE BOOK OF JOB [§ 28. 

§ 28. (5) In common with R, E contains a number of 
Aramaisms ; 1 but, though this feature has been on the one 
hand exaggerated, on the other minimized, in E the Aramaic 
element is somewhat more prominent. Since in detail there 
is much that is open in varying degrees to uncertainty, exact 
statistics cannot usefully be presented ; but of 32 Aramaisms 
which Kautzsch [Die Aramaismen im alten Testament, p. loi) 
claims in Job, 5 are common to E and R, 8 peculiar to E, 19 
peculiar to R, whereas the ratio of E to R (i : 6) would lead 
us to expect but three peculiar to E. I now give the Aramaisms 
claimed as certain by Kautzsch with the passages under 
which the words are discussed in the philological notes, and 
then add a few from Kautzsch's list of uncertain Aramaisms or 
elsewhere. Most of the words in question occur but once in 
Job; of those that occur more frequently I place the number 
of occurrences after the word. I prefix a ? to certain words 
open to doubt textually or as to their actual Aramaic character, 
and give references to Noldeke's criticism in his important 
review of Kautzsch [ZDMG Ivii. 412-420: cited below as N 
with the number of the page) 

Common to E and R are f^^x (Piel to teach, 15^ 33^3 35^^' 
Qal to learn, Pr. 22^5^: in 21:^ = Heb. no^), nin (R i, E 4) 
15''.' ^^»' (R I. E i) 82, n^o3 (R 20, E 14) 42, NJK', r\w 
(R 2 + 1, E i)&. 

Peculiar to R are ninx 12,^'',^ ? p, if,^ mn 3^, tnt3 9^^ ? ^St5 (2)5 

^ On the Aramaisms in Job, cp. in addition to the works cited above 
and those of Bu. and Posselt cited in § 23 n., Bernstein, " Inhalt, Zweck u. 
gegenvvartigfe BeschafFenheit des B. Hiob," in Keil 11. Tzsch\TneT' s Analekten 
(1813), i. 3, pp. 49-79; Che. Job and Solomon, 293-295, in many respects 
modified in EBL 2486 f. 

^ Che. (EBi. 2487) omits 15^^ and 13^', thus leaving the root nin confined 
to E. 

* N. 413 claims V'7D, nho as " echt hebraisch." In Job iho is a synonym 
of n3T and "iCX : it is relatively more frequent in E ('iSd, 14 ; ncx, 4 ; nan : 4 : 
R nSa, 20; nsK, 6; nan, 12). For the Aramaizing pi. (but see N. 413, n. 2) 
J'Vd, E has a preference, using it 7 times against 0''?D 3 times ; R yho 6, 
D'^D 7 times. 

* Kautzsch claims 6 occurrences — 9^^'* i2^'"- 23^ 40^'*; but see 9'-' n., 
where Dr. admits at most 9'^ 40^ : cp. N. 416. 

'N. 415. 


13*, -ip\ glorious 3 1 26, ^2 (2) 30^, ;d3 (2) 5^2, ?? pS, therefore 
30^^ ? pD^ 242*, nn],''^ to descend 2\^^ (17^"), "ini?^ 39'\ pny 21^ 
Pnin'j'y 12^, bp (2) 21^ aip,* w^?- 38'-^ nncy 16'", PDnnc* 40^^ 

flpn I4"''- 

Peculiar to E are ? ina 34*, ^in^ 33^ in3 36-, nnyo 342''', 
3Pi? ( = 3Dy)<^ 37^ vvi ( = p->) 342\ s"r^ (2) 362«, n-ic 37^ 

Other words which should also probably be considered 
Aramaisms are siDN 33'^, ^tDp 13^^ 24^'* (*' probably Aramaic," N. 
417), and nan^tJ' 15^^ (N. 417) — i.e. one word only in E, two only 
in R. 3p"i in 13-*^, if it meant wine-skin (Be. ; Nestle, ZATW 
XX. 172; Che. EBi. 2487), would also be an Aramaism, but 
DXD 7^, cited by Kautzsch in his doubtful examples, may be 

§ 29. (6) As important as the details which can be statisti- 
cally presented is the general impression of the style. "The 
style of Elihu ... is prolix, laboured and somewhat tautologous 
^^^send. lOb. i7b^ . ^.j^g power and brilliancy which are so con- 
spicuous in the poem generally are sensibly missing. The 
reader, as he passes from Job and his three friends to Elihu, 
is conscious at once that he has before him the work of a 
writer, not indeed devoid of literary skill, but certainly inferior 
in literary and poetical genius to the author of the rest of the 
book. The language is often involved and the thought strained" 
(Dr. LOT 429). With this view Bu., who in his Beitrage 
offered the most elaborate defence of the identity of style in 
cc. 32-37 and the rest of the book, now practically concurs 
(Comm. xix.2 xxvii.): but he attributes this diversity of style 
in the section as a whole to the interpolation of some 30 verses 

/■^22-5. 11-12. 15-17 ^^4. 15b. 33 ^^. 10a. 25-28. 29c ^-4 0513. 14. 17. 25. 26. 29. 30 

2^13. 15. 16^ 2l\\^ much corruption of the text. Some of the 
harshness and obscurity is certainly due to corruption (see on 
33^^ 34^"* ^^"^^ 36^^)> 2-rid some interpolation there may have 

' N. 414. ^ N. 414 " kann althebraisch sein." 

■* N. 413 — perhaps a good Hebrew synonym of Nns. 

* N. 413 f. : traditional punciuaiion D^i? not necessarily correct. 
^ N. 415 points out that the meaning required in 33'' does not occur in 

^ In addition to the n. on 37^, cp. Rothstein in ZDMG Ivii. 82. 

xlviii THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 29-30. 

been {e.^., perhaps in 34^^ 26^^- 2^"^") here, as elsewhere in the 
book; but it is in general improbable that these chapters have 
been more extensively interpolated than the rest, and in par- 
ticular there is no sufficient reason for regfarding- as inter- 
polations most of the passages omitted by Bu. The assumption 
again, that the omissions of ffir represent additions to the 
original text, is as precarious here as elsewhere (see § 50). A 
different theory of diversity of authorship within 32-37 is 
put forward by Nichols, who distinguishes 32^1"^^ 34. 35^^- ^^ 
(placed between 34^^ and ^*) as the words of a "second wise 
man " addressed not at all to Job (34!*' is omitted, and with 
ffi 34^^"^^), but throughout to the wise ; the style of both 
authors in 32-37 is held to differ from that of the rest of the 

The various reasons already given, independently of con- 
siderations adduced in § 32 ff., suffice to show that cc. 32-37 
are the work of another writer than the author of the book. 

§ 30. (c) Cc. 38^-42^, the speech(es) of Yahweh. 

The only ground for questioning this section as a whole 
lies in the nature of the contents which have appeared to some 
incapable of reconciliation with the standpoint of the author 
of the Dialogue. This will be discussed below (§§ 38-39). 
Apart from this everything is in favour of the main part of the 
section having formed part of the original work. The speeches 
of Elihu may be removed without causing a tremor to the 
structure of the book ; but without some speech of Yahweh 
the structure falls to pieces. The book as a finished structure 
can never have closed with c. 31 (or 37); a speech of Yahweh 
is the natural, if not the necessary sequel to Job's closing 
soliloquy; and a speech of Yahweh is certainly presupposed 
in the opening words of the Epilogue (42^). Thus there are 
three alternatives : (1) the speech is authentic ; (2) the original 
author left his work unfinished, and a subsequent writer added 
the speech of Yahweh; (3) the present has been substituted 
for a speech in the original work. In either of the last two 
alternatives we might expect difference of style ; but such 
difference, if it can be detected at all, does not extend beyond 
4o"-4i^^^-"\ Cc. 38 f. at least are by general consent un- 




sur[)assed for poetical power. On the whole, tlieii, 38. 39 
together with 40"^"^ and 42^"*^ appear to be integral to the book, 
but 4o''-42' tor reasons given in the commentary (pp. 348 f., 
351 f. ) are probably later additions. 

§ 31. The conclusions on the main questions now reached, 
and those on minor details indicated in the commentary, may 
be tabulated so as to indicate the original structure of the 
book and additions which at various times it may have received. 
The passages absent from (Er, representing (in the main) a 
subsequent abbreviation of the book (§ 48 f.), are also given: 
as omissions from G are reckoned lines absent from liJ (with 
half a dozen exceptions), or (in 39^-40^) asterisked in S", and 
also 17^^ 20^ (see § 49). 


Original Elements. 

1. ProiOgue, I. 2 

2. Job's soliloquy, 3 

3. Dialog'ue between the 

friends and Job 
First cycle of 
Elipliaz, 4. 5 
Job, 6. 7 except 

Bildad, 8 
Job, 9. 10 ,, 

Sophar, 11 ,, 

Job, 12-14 

Second cycle of 
Eliphaz, 15 except 
Job, 16. 17 ,, 

Bildad, iS 

Job, 19 

Sophar, 20 ,, 

Job, 21 ,, 

Additions Prob- 
able OR Possible. 




ob. 1-12 



,69c-n j^8-ij 


16. as 


Omissions in ffi. 

[Enumeration o{ vv. by 
Swete ; where that of 
the translation differs 
from this, it is added 
in brackets.] 


g24b. c ,o4a (Pj . jo4a. b gw. 

J 28b. 9. 18b. 21a. 23 j -19b. 20b 
J .12c. 18. 19_ 

, .10. 26b. 27 

J (^3b. 8b. 9 (7bj3-8) 22 (21)b_ 

J »3b-5a. 12. IG 

J glib. 10. 15 (but 19c (IJ_15a 3g) 

16. 17b 
jQ24a. 28b_ 

2Qi. S. 11-13. 14b. 20b. 2la. 23a. 28o_ 
2 1 16. 19b. 21. 23.28-33^ 


[§ 31-32. 

The Original Sthucturk and Subsequent Modifications 

ov Job — cunimtied 

Original Elements. 

Auditions Prob- 
able OR Possible. 

Omissions in ffi. 

3. Dialogue between the 

friends and Job 

Third cycle of 

Eliphaz, 22 except 

2 2"'- 

223b. 13-18. ao. 24. 29. 30_ 

Job, 23. 24 „ 

2^8. 9 ^p(j p parts of 
24 (p. 206) 

2^9. 15 (14) 24'"'- S"^- "a- 1<-I8a 

(i^» Sw., cp. 34^6 ^S?)^'"^ 


Bildad, 25(+?26) 

268-11. 14a. b_ 

Job, 27=-«-l'-'2 + 

Sophar ?, 2f-^<>- "-23 

28 Poem on Wisdom 

2^19b. 21-23_ 

283b-4a. 5-9a. M-19. 21b. 22a. 2«b- 

Job's closing solilo- 
quy, 29-31 

2QlOb. llanua.b. g^y_ "'* = i§ 

lla\ 13a. 19. 20. 24b. 25_ 
-qIc. 2. 8. 4a (?). 7a. Ub-13a, 16a. 

18b. 20b. 27_ 
-J 1-4. 18. 23b. 24». 27a. 36a_ 
.,24b. B. lib (lie). 12. 15. 16 (17 T). 
^-8a. 19b. 20b. 28. 29. 31b-33_ 
^ .3. 4. 6b. 7. lib. 18b. 23a. 25b. 

32-37 Elihu 

-r7b-10a. 12a. 16. 16. .,55b. 6. 7 
(6a. 7b. c . 6b. 7a ^ L 15b. I7a 

^) 8-11. 13. 16. 20. 21b. 22a_ 

.,624b. 25a. 26. 27b. 28a. 29-33^ 
--1-Ba. 6b. 7a. lUa. lla-12c. 18. 18. 
21b (e)_ 

4. Yah weh 38^-40^ except 


.,826. 27. 32 „Qla. 3b-4. 6b. 8_ 
2q13-18. 28. 29b. 31 (40I). 
40I8 (23)b. 19 (20). 21 (-jeia/ 

Job, 402-5 ^22. 3c. d. 6. 6 

.,3 (12). 7 (16)a. 8 (17). 14 (23)b. 
17 (26)b. 20 (29)a. 23 (32)b^ 

5. Epilogue, 42^-'^ 

.281!- 16c. 17^ 

V. The Purpose and Method of the Writer. 

§ 32. If we are right in concluding that a single writer is 
responsible for the Prologue, the speeches of Job, of his three 
friends and of Yahweh (apart from the passages indicated in 
the preceding table as possible additions), and the Epilogue, 
what was the purpose of this writer, and what are the dis- 
tinctive features of his thought and outlook on life which he 
reveals in his work ? 


It would no doubt be as inadequate a description of Job, as, 
for example, of Paradise Lost, to call it merely a didactic poem ; 
it would be even further from the truth to regard it as a purely 
objective dramatic poem in which the author maintains an 
interested but quite impartial attitude towards the various 
characters which are introduced and the various points of view 
which are expressed by them. On the other hand, the author 
obviously ranges himself with Yahweh in approving- Job as 
against his friends ; as passionately as Job he rejects the inter- 
pretation of life maintained by the friends, and as decisively as 
Yahweh the estimate of human character (so closely associated 
with the friends' outlook on life) that is offered by the Satan. The 
writer's purpose is never so directly formulated as Milton's — to 

assert Eternal Providence 
And justify the ways of God to men ; 

nor is it coextensive with it; but it is akin, and not really 
concealed, and the differences of opinion which have prevailed 
with regard to the purpose of the book have been due to 
seeking from the author more than he was able or intended to 
offer. He had no clear-cut theology, like Milton's, enabling him 
to say why God acted as He did and thus positively to justify 
His ways; but through pain and trial he had discovered in 
his own experience that God did not abandon the sufferer, and 
therefore he was able to assert that God did not send sufferings 
on men merely for the reasons commonly assigned, and that it 
was not necessarily or always true that as an individual suffered 
so he had sinned ; and thus, if he could not positively justify 
God, he could at least vindicate Him against the ways attributed 
to Him by the current opinion of his time, represented in the 
poem by the friends. There was also another side to his 
experience : he had discovered not only that God did not 
abandon the sufferer, but also that suffering and loss had not 
detached him from God, that it was possible to serve and love 
God not for the outward things He gave, but for what He was 
in Himself. The book aims not at solving the entire problem 
of suffering, but at vindicating God and the latent worth of 
human nature against certain conclusions drawn from a partial 
observation of life. 

Hi THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 33-34. 

§ 33- "Thf book opens with the presentation of a perfect 
character : Job is so described in the first words of the narrative 
(i^), and the truth of the description is endorsed by Yahweh 
(i^ 2^) ; the kind of life and character thus described in general 
terms is indicated in detail elsewhere in the book (cp. especially 
c. 31 : also, e.£., 4^'- ; and see n. on i^). But the Satan disputes 
the inherent worth of this character : Job, he insinuates, had 
lived as he had, not simply with the result (i^ n.) that he had 
become outwardly prosperous, but in order that he might 
prosper ; he had served God not for God's sake, but to obtain 
the handsome price of such service : human nature is incapable 
of pure devotion to God, human conduct is not disinterested ; 
if the payment for it ceases, or becomes uncertain, man's 
service of God will cease, man will no longer address God 
reverentially, or aflfectionately, but blasphemingly ; where love 
and trust had seemed to be while such qualities received their 
price, there hate and contempt will certainly be when the price 
is withdrawn. Such is the issue between Yahweh and the 
Satan, Yahweh upholding, the Satan calling in question, the 
integrity, the sincerity, the disinterestedness of Job. Such also 
had been the issue in the mind of the writer who wrote the 
speeches that follow the opening narrative ; he had faced the 
same problem of life as Plato in the Republic (Bk. ii.) ; he had 
realized that the really perfect man must be prepared to prove 
his perfectness by maintaining it even when there befell him 
calamity such as would have seemed the meet sequel to wicked- 
ness, and such as actually had the effect on the ordinary judge- 
ment of men of making him seem to have been wicked though 
actually he had been good. The very friends of Job, held 
by the dogma that a man of broken fortunes cannot have 
been "integer vitae scelerisque purus," infer from Job's 
calamities that he must have been wicked, though his own 
conscience and God's unerring judgement assert that the life 
on which these calamities descended had been free from 

§ 34" Within the Prologue the issue is decided against the 
Satan : when the Satan sneeringly says to God, Take away all 
the wealth Thou hast given Job, then go and see him, and he 


will curse Thee, he is obviously contemplating- the immediate 
result of deprivation on Job ; for when in the second scene in 
heaven he is challenged by Yahweh to admit that Job's conduct 
and temper under loss have proved the Satan's estimate of him 
wrong, he does not plead that the experiment has not had long 
enough to work, but claims that it is merely necessary to with- 
draw health as well as wealth, and Job will at once cease 
blessing and curse. The Satan's estimate is based on weaker 
characters, exemplified by Job's wife, who would have Job do 
what the Satan had counted on his doing; but Job himself rejects 
the advice of his wife in words which are tantamount to saying : 
to curse God now would be to prove that I have served and 
blessed Him hitherto not for what He is, but for the good- 
fortune which for so long He gave me ; now that ill-fortune 
has befallen me I can show that I serve Him for what He is. 
Thus Job left at last only with bare life, without which he 
could be no subject of testing, and his character which had 
been called in question, but which he had maintained intact 
under the last test that the Satan could suggest, by these words 
proves his disinterested attachment to Yahweh, that he had 
not served Him for what He gave, and thus finally and com- 
pletely puts the Satan in the wrong, and that so obviously that 
it is unreasonable, as some have done, to complain that the 
writer has not depicted Yahweh pressing home the Satan's 
discomfiture, whether by a third scene in heaven, or in the 

Job by his attitude in the Prologue has, unknown to himself, 
vindicated Yahweh's against the Satan's estimate of his char- 
acter ; but the result of the Satan's experiments, the origin and 
purpose of which remain unknown on earth, is to expose Job's 
character to attack from another quarter. The Satan in heaven 
disputes the integrity of Job's character, because prosperity 
had necessarily left it untested : when his prosperity forsakes 
Job, his friends on earth dispute his integrity on the ground 
that he must have sinned because he no longer prospers. Thus 
the Prologue opens up the question of the relation of loss and 
suffering to sin : with this question the Dialogue is concerned, 
and necessarily (for it is a crucial instance for the theor}' at 

liv THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 34-35. 

issue) interwoven with the discussion of it is the attack on 
and defence of Job's integrity. 

§ 35' Between Job's rebuke of his wife with its implicit 
assertion of his own resignation and the opening- of the 
Dialogue some weeks intervene : in the interval Job's experience 
has raised questions in his own mind : why is he, why are men 
born to suffer? The ready answer of his old faith would have 
been : men are not born to suffer ; they only suffer if they sin ; 
but his experience has proved this false in his own case, and, 
as he is now ready to believe, it would also be false in the 
case of countless others, but to the bitter question he now finds 
no answer. Thus he goes into the following debate con- 
vinced that the solution there repeatedly put forward is false, 
but with no other theory to oppose to it. To these questionings 
of Job his three friends, who being no fair weather friends had 
come to him on hearing of his calamities, had listened : they 
had brought with them the same old faith as Job's, but not the 
direct personal experience which had proved to Job its in- 
adequacy. In all friendliness they would recall Job to the faith, 
and lead him to the course which that faith indicated — humble 
acceptance of the discipline of suffering, confession and abandon- 
ment of the sin which had brought his suffering upon him, and 
return to God. Job cannot accept such advice, for in doing so 
he would be false to his conviction of his integrity. The nature 
of the Dialogue — so different from those of Plato — is thus 
determined by the nature of the difference in character of what 
the two parties — for the three friends constitute a single party 
— stand for : the friends maintain a theory. Job defends a fact 
— the reality and truth of his conviction of innocence. The 
Dialogue, therefore, is not directed towards reaching a correct 
or more adequate theory, but towards emphasizing the certainty 
of the fact and the consequent falseness of the prevailing theory. 
So far, indeed, is Job from opposing a different theory to the 
theory of the friends that his own outlook, and his own inter- 
pretation of what has happened, is still largely governed by the 
theory which he also had once unquestioningly held ; and which 
is still the o\\\y positive theory to hold the field till driven from it 
by the vindication of the truth of Job's conviction, which proves 


the theory false. Because he has no other theory of suffering 
than that of the friends, he can imagine no other j'usl cause for 
his own sufferings than sin on his part ; since, then, as he 
knows directly and for certain that such just cause does not 
exist, he m/ers that his suffering has been unjustly inflicted, 
that God — the God at least of his own old and the friends' still 
cherished theory — is unjustly causing his suffering, has changed 
without good cause from being his friend into his enemy. In 
the early days of his loss. Job was conscious only of his own 
unchanged attitude towards God ; as time gives opportunity 
for reflection, and more especially as the friends press home the 
inference, inevitable under the theory, that because Job greatly 
suffers he must have greatly sinned. Job awakes to another 
aspect of his strange fortunes ; loss gives him the opportunity 
of proving his willingness to receive from God ill-fortune no 
less than good fortune ; of remaining, when rewards fail, for 
His own sake, the servant, the friend of God ; but loss at the 
same time, if the friends and their theory are right, is God's 
unambiguous assertion that He has rejected Job and become 
his enemy. This is Job s severest trial of all — a trial the Satan 
failed to think of; and under the stress of it Job says much 
that doubtless needs correction, and yet nothing that corresponds 
to anything the Satan can have meant by " cursing God to His 
face," nothing that reflects back upon Job's previous character 
in such a way as to indicate that it lacked the wholeness which 
Yahweh claimed for it and the Satan denied. Job nowhere 
regrets his previous service of God, and never demands the 
restoration of the previous rewards ; what he does seek is God 
Himself, God unchanged, still his friend — on his side, un- 
estranged from him, and not, as the theory assures him He 
has now become, his enemy ; and what he seeks he never really 
and permanently despairs of finding ; against God, seeming by 
the calamities He sends to take away his character, he appeals 
to God to vindicate it (16^^-21 „_ jyS^^ jj,,(j rises to certainty that 
He will do so, if not this side death, then beyond (19-^) ; but it 
is only for this vindication, for the realization that God really 
remains his friend, not for the restoration of good fortune, that 
Job contemplates the intervention of God on his behalf. 

Ivi THE BOOK OF JOB [§ 36. 

§ 36. It is unnecessary to review in detail here all the 
speeches of the friends and Job's replies to them : they cover 
the same ground again and again. So far as the friends are 
concerned it is of the very essence of the writer's purpose that 
they should one and all say essentially the same thing : they 
are not introduced to represent many existing theories ; but 
the three of them, expounding the same theory, represent that 
as the unchallenged judgement of ancient and still current 
opinion. All the variety that is thus possible in the friends' 
speeches is variety of expression, the formulation of different 
aspects of the same theory, or different proofs of it, such as 
the divine origin of it (4^^^- Eliphaz), its antiquity (8^*- Bildad, 
igisf. Eliphaz, 20* Sophar), the impossibility, due to man's 
ignorance, of successfully disputing it (i i^*- Sophar), or of such 
subsidiary theories as had been called in to help it out. Of 
these a word or two may be said here. Briefly, the theory 
itself is that the righteous prosper, the unrighteous come to 
grief, and conversely that suffering implies sin in the individual 
sufferer, and prosperity the righteousness of the prosperous. 
But the facts of life at any time too obviously challenge this 
simplest form of theory ; and these had already led to certain 
additional details which accordingly are not represented as 
elicited by the debate, but are many of them already expressed 
or implied in the very first speech of Eliphaz. Such details are 
the suggestions that all men are impure and sinful to some 
extent, and that therefore suffering is to some extent due to 
all ; that righteous individuals might suffer to some extent 
and for a time, and unrighteous individuals might similarly 
prosper, but that the unrighteous did and the righteous did 
not come to an untimely end [e.g: 4'^ 8^^~^^) ; that the wicked, 
even when seeming to be prosperous, were haunted by 
terror of the coming calamity that was their due (is^^"^-). 
Again — and here there persists the influence of that strong 
sense of the solidarity of the family or clan, with its relative 
indifference to the individual, that preceded the increased value 
set on the individual, which is the presupposition of the book 
of Job — it is urged that even if an unrighteous man lives out a 
long prosperous life, his children pay the penalty for it (5-* 


20"^). Or ag"ain it is conceded, especially by liliphaz in his 
first speech {s^"^^- : so also Elihu, passim), that suffering- need 
not be mere penalty, but may have as its end the conviction 
and removal of sin, the purification of character ; in other 
words, that suffering- is not only penal, but may also be dis- 
ciplinary. But with all the admissions and concessions that 
the current theory allows them to make, the friends in the 
development of the debate clearly make plain that the sub- 
stance of the theory is that God distributes suffering and 
prosperity to the unrighteous and righteous respectively, and 
that in proportion to their righteousness or unrighteousness. 
Accordingly Eliphaz, who in his first speech introduces the 
subject of disciplinary suffering (arguing that since no man is 
free from sin, all men must suffer, but that if they rig-htly accept 
suffering due to essential human infirmity, they will ultimately 
prosper, whereas if they prove obstinate and greatly suffer they 
must greatly have sinned) in his second speech 1 expresses his 
conviction that Job must be a peculiarly heinous sinner (15^*"^^), 
and in his third speech invents charges against him of certain 
specific sins of great enormity (22^"^), thus lying on behalf of 
his theory of God. Bildad and Sophar by dwelling- in their 
second speeches (and Sophar also in his third, if this survives 
in 27) almost exclusively on the fate of the wicked — depicted 
often in colours borrowed from Job's experience — indirectly 
convey the same judgement that Eliphaz expresses directly. 

§ 37. In his replies to the friends. Job insists on his integ- 
rity — the fact by which their theory is shattered, their advice 
rendered nugatory. He agrees with them as to the might of 
God, and as to the frailty of human nature, carrying with it 
proneness to sin and yielding- to temptation in all men, himself 
included ; that all should suffer raises a question {^-^), which, 
however, perplexing as it is, would be relatively intelligible and 
endurable ; but while all men sin, men differ widely in the 
extent to which they sin, and yet it is those who like himself 
are relatively free from sin and within the limitations of human 
frailty perfect who sutler — not invariably, but often ; and it is 

^ Cp. in Sophar's very first speech, ii'"'^; but the line is probably not 

Iviii THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 37-38. 

the wicked who prosper — not again invariably, but often, so 
that it may be said that God sends suffering indifferently on 
the perfect and the wicked {'^'^-'^^). If, then, suffering is always 
punishment, God is an unjust judge, inflicting punishment 
where it is not due, and failing to secure its infliction where it 
is due. Nor again will the plea of the friends do, that Job's 
sufferings are sent in kindness by God to deflect him from 
his wicked way, and so even yet secure an end of life richer 
and more amply blessed than even his earlier life had been : 
Job has no wicked way to be deflected from, as his own con- 
science attests and God Himself — though this, of course, is 
unknown to Job and the friends — has insisted. Starting from the 
same point — that all suffering is penal — Job and the friends thus 
reach different conclusions — he, with eyes opened to the facts of 
life but himself not yet rid of the theory, concluding that God 
is unjust (gi^^- 19*^) though mighty (g^^- i2^^~^), not only letting 
Job suffer, but letting the wicked enjoy life to the full and to the 
end (c. 21), they, distorting or blind to facts, that God is both 
mighty and just. This is a sufficiently clear-cut difference. 
But Job is also at issue with himself. The old theory leads 
inevitably to the conclusion that God is unjust, but the old 
experience of God still prompts him to trust God as being good 
as well as mighty. So long as the theory dominates him, he 
can only wish and pray that this mighty unjust God would 
leave him alone, cease to think it worth His while to continue 
to torment him (7^""^^ 10^" 19^^) ; but when the old experience 
of God (29^^-) reasserts its influence, what he longs for is that 
God should again speak to him, recognize him (14^^), yearn for 
him (y^^'^), admit his innocence and even vindicate it against 
(161^—17 ig''^^'^^) His own charges, made in the language of 
misfortune, that he has sinned, and so far from being perfect 
is one of the most imperfect and wicked of men. 

§ 38. The double issue — that of Job with the friends, and 
that of Job with himself — should be determined when God 
intervenes ; and if we have rightly analysed these issues, in 
the speeches of Yahweh — less directly, perhaps, than we might 
at first expect — and in the Epilogue, these issues are deter- 
mined. Certainly the speech of Yahweh does not contain what 


Job had not demanded, a positive theory of the meaning or pur- 
pose of suffering — and doubtless for the very good reason that 
the author himself had no such theory; had he had, he would 
probably have represented Job discovering this theory through 
suffering, and God at last approving Job's theory as against 
that of the friends ; as it is, he is content to make clear the 
truth of Job's and the falseness of the friends' assertion as to the 
fact of Job's integrity. What Job had demanded was that God 
should formulate the charges of sin for which his sufferings had 
been sent ; and to this God replies in the only possible way (cp. 
i^) by formulating no such charge. The speech of Yahweh 
contains a charge, it is true ; but it is a charge of a different 
kind ; and the Epilogue in the most direct terms pronounces 
Job in the right and the friends in the wrong. Are the speech 
with its charge and the Epilogue with its vindication at vari- 
ance with one another? In particular, does the speech con- 
demn where the Epilogue acquits Job? There certainly is a 
difference of judgement ; but is it on the same issue ? When, 
in the opening words of His speech, Yahweh asks : Who is 
this that darkeneth the purpose (of God) with words spoken 
without knowledge. He is certainly under the form of a question 
definitely charging Job with having spoken ignorantly and 
misleadingly about God, and this Job in his response admits 
(42^). On the other hand, in the Epilogue Yahweh directly 
asserts that Job has said what was right, and the friends what 
was wrong about God. Is the one a condemnation, the other 
an acquittal on the saine charge? In attempting a reply to this 
question, it is necessary to take into account the speech of 
Yahweh as a whole, and to observe what it does not contain as 
well as what it does. What the speech does not contain is 
singularly important ; for its silence is a tacit repetition of the 
judgement challenged by the Satan in the Prologue, an antici- 
pation of the vindication of Job against the friends expressed 
in the Epilogue, and a justification of one of Job's two thoughts 
of God against the other. The speech in no way goes back on 
Yahweh's judgement in the Prologue; it does not in the slightest 
degree admit the justice of the Satan's impugnment of the 
inner springs, or the friends' impugnment of the outward 

Ix THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 38-39. 

elements of Job's conduct before his sufferings came upon him : 
it does not, as Job had at times feared, show God, when He 
appears, unjustly treating him as and pronouncing him guilty 
of sins such as could account for his sufferings. Thus the 
speech tacitly confirms the voice of Job's conscience, that his 
life had been free from blame. The condemnation implied in 
the opening and closing words (38- 40-) of the speech is of 
Job's criticism of God's ways, not as they actually were, but 
as they would have been if the theory of suffering being 
always and merely penal were true ; in other words, it is 
a condemnation of something that had taken place after the 
calamity had befallen Job, of something consequently that was 
not .e cause of that suffering. It is at the same time a con- 
demnation of the theory persistently maintained by the friends 
and only half abandoned by Job himself ; jr that theory implied 
a claim to an extent of acquaintance with God's ways which it is 
the purpose of the speech to show that man did not possess. 
For the rest, the speech is directed towards illustrating the 
marvellous range of Yahweh's activities, the innumerable 
elements, inexplicable by man, in His ways. In certain 
respects this may seem irrelevant: Job no less than the friends 
had acknowledged that God's ways were past finding out ; but 
Job in charging God with injustice had made use of the old 
theory that implicitly laid claim to a complete knowledge of 
God's ways with men ; Job's acknowledgment of fault (42^"®) 
is accordingly limited to the confession that he had spoken 
beyond his knowledge. 

§ 39. But the speech of Yahweh accompanies an appearance 
or direct manifestation of Yahweh to Job, and in this respect is 
the direct response of Yahweh to Job's deepest desire : Job has 
at last found Yahweh ; and, in spite of the rebuke of his words 
beyond knowledge, he has found Yahweh on his side, no more 
estranged from him than in the days of his former prosperity, 
but more intimately known ; as compared with his former, his 
present knowledge is as sight to hearing, as direct, first hand 
personal to second hand and traditional knowledge. So far 
from his earlier sense of God's friendship having been shown 
by his sufferings to be a delusion, its reality has been vindicated, 


and by God's response to his appeal his communion with God 
has been intensified. 

So we may relate the speech and the accompanying 
manifestation of God to the purpose of the book ; but inas- 
much as that speech had to condemn the theory without 
putting- another in its place and to criticize Job for continu- 
ing to make use of it, even when his own experience was 
showing that it had broken down, for the sake of clearness at 
least it was essential that the book should close with an un- 
equivocal reassertion of what God had asserted in the Prologue, 
and the Satan there and the friends in the Debate had denied 
— the integrity of the man on whom the great sufferings had 
fallen. This is reasserted in two ways, both of which leave 
nothing lacking in the explicitness of the assertion. In the first 
place, Yahweh in the Epilogue directly pronounces Job to have 
been in the right, the friends to have been in the wrong ; but 
there is one remarkable aspect of Yahweh's words : what He 
says is that Job has spoken truly and the friends falsely about 
Him: in this there is, so far as the judgement on Job is concerned, 
an apparent divergence from the condemnatory questions in 
38^ 40^ ; but in God's speech to Job there was no reference to 
what the friends had said of Him ; and it is this that stands 
first in the Epilogue and carries with it the judgement on Job's 
words, which if it stood alone unlimited by the context would 
perhaps be irreconcilable with 38"^ 40-. It is true, Yahweh 
might have said expressly that the friends falsely deny, and 
Job rightly asserts his innocence ; but this in itself would only 
indirectly have indicated the falseness of the friends' theory oj 
God in relation to human suffering, which it is, as we have seen, 
a main purpose of the writer to assert ; he has therefore pre- 
ferred to present Yahweh's judgement on Job and the friends 
in a form of words which directly asserts that the friends have 
spoken wrongly about God, and that in the point where they 
have been wrong Job has been right ; in inventing charges 
against Job they have told lies to maintain their theory of God ; 
in repudiating these charges and denying that his calamities are 
God's accusation of wickedness in him. Job has spoken right. 

§ 40. Not only does Yahweh thus expressly assert Job's 

Ixii THE BOOK OF JOB [§ 40, 

integrity of character, He also marks it by renewed i.nd 
increased outward tokens of His favour. This aspect of the 
Epilogue has often been judged unworthy of the author of the 
poem, and really inconsistent with his purpose of maintaining 
the possible disinterestedness of human conduct, and a virtual 
giving of the case away to the friends on the ground that Job's 
fate illustrates afresh the formula that the righteous can only 
suffer for their sins for a time and must ultimately prosper. 
But the two points are not quite rightly taken. If the double 
prosperity of Job's latter days had been the price he demanded 
for continued service of God, the objection would hold ; but it 
was not : and what Job had demanded was something very 
different — the vindication of his character. Again the restora- 
tion to fortune falls not after any confession on the part of Job 
of sins which had caused his sufferings, as Ellphaz had led him 
to expect that it might, but immediately after the judgement of 
God that Job the sufferer has far surpassed the friends who had 
not suffered, in righteousness. Job's character being directly 
vindicated, his disinterestedness established, there was no 
reason why the story should end with the sufferings inflicted 
for a particular purpose made perpetual after the purpose had 
been achieved. 

The removal of the speech of Yahweh, if the Epilogue 
remained, would leave the vindication of Job and the consequent 
condemnation of the theory of the friends unobscured, not to 
say clearer than it is ; and since the speech contains no positive 
theory of suffering, no counter theory to that of the friends, it 
has to some appeared alien to the original work. Yet the 
omission of the speech would leave Job without that direct 
manifestation and speech to him of God which he had desired, 
and unanswered except by the restoration of his fortunes, which 
he had not desired ; God would still speak at the end of the 
debate, but — in condemnation, it is true — to Eliphaz only ! 
Towards Job he would then remain silent to the end. If, then, 
the speech can be related in some such way as has been 
attempted above to the rest of the book, it is certainly safest to 
retain it ; for (§ 30) there are no independent reasons of style, 
etc., for regarding the chapters as secondary. Had an inter- 


polator felt called upon to compose a speech, it is only loo 
probable that he would, like the author of fillihu, have dwelt 
more clearly and directly upon Job's blameworthiness. On the 
other hand, it is difficult to see what kind of speech, creating 
fewer difficulties or giving greater satisfaction, could have been 
composed by a writer who like the original author (i) intended 
to insist that Job had not suffered for sins he had committed, 
and that the theory which necessitated the inference that he 
had, was therefore false ; and (2) had yet no positive theory of 
suffering to propound, and was rather, perhaps, inclined to 
deprecate the formation of fresh theories, lest, resting as they 
must upon inadequate knowledge, they too should have 
practical results as terrible as his own experience had shown 
flowed from the current theory. For these reasons, while still 
sensible of certain difficulties and the necessity for some 
subtlety in defending the speech as an integral part of the book, 
I now retain it more decisively than in my Crit. Introd. to the 
OT., pp. 1 19-122. 

§ 41. Any judgement of the scope and purpose of the book 
is much more affected by the question of the integrity of the 
speech(es) of Elihu. Reasons which have appeared and are 
likely to appear to many sufficient to show that this part of the 
book is an addition to the original poem, and consequently 
must not be used in determining the purpose of the author 
of the original work, have already been given (§ 22 ff.); and 
these reasons are enforced rather than weakened by the 
attempts that have been made to find here the original author's 
solution of the problem of the book. 

The ablest and most elaborate of these attempts is Bu.'s, which is thus 
described and criticized by Dr. LOT^ 43° f- : — "A different view of the 
scope of the booli is taken by those who — as Schlottmann, Hengst., Riehm 
{Einl. ii. 363 f., 278 f.), and especially Budde — acknowledge the Elihu- 
speeches as an original part of the poem. These writers consider that 
what was indicated above as a collateral aim of the book, viz., the 
doctrine of the disciplinary or purifying value of suffering, is in reality its 
main aim — or, at least (Riehm), its main positive aim. Thus Budde 
{Covim. p. XXX (^xl)ff. etc.) observes that Job, though righteous before 
the visit of his friends, in defending his righteousness against their silent 
reproaches (2'^) and (c. 4-5, etc. ) open attacks, fell into sin : spiritual pride, 
a sin subtler even than the selfishness of his piety, which was what the 

Ixiv THE BOOK OF JOB [§ 41. 

tempter suspected, was latent in his nature from the first (cp. Riehni, p. 
263) : and the object of the suffering sent upon him was to bring' this 
hidden sin to his consciousness, to lead him to confess it, as he does in 
42-"*, and so to purify and confirm his spiritual nature. . . . The original 
folk-tale [§ 7] of Job, in which the question was, Is Egoism the root oj 
piety? Is there sxtch a thing as disinterested piety ? . . . the poet adopted 
as the framework for his thoughts. With him, however, the question 
becomes a deeper and broader one. Can the righteous suffer? and if so, 
ivhy? and the trial of Job's righteousness (which is the theme of the 
Prologue) becomes the purification of his character and the confirmation 
of his faith. . . . Consistently with this view of the general scope of the 
book, the same writers consider not only that the Elihu-speeches are the 
work of the original author, but that they present his own solution of the 
problem. And so Budde remarks (^ pp. xlvff., 223) that Eliphaz (c. 4-5) 
explains suffering only as a punishment of actual sin : Job takes the same 
view of it ; Elihu, on the contrary, explains it as designed to make man 
conscious of latent sin, and thereby to enable him to repent and overcome 
it. Budde defends his theory of the book with marked skill and ability ; 
but it may be doubted whether a doctrine which, however true and pro- 
found in the abstract, is so little developed by the poet himself, can have 
formed the main idea of his work. The doctrine of the disciplinary 
function of suffering is very subordinate in the book ; even in Elihu it 
does not stand out \vith the clearness and directness that would be 
expected, if the poet were there presenting his own solution of the problem. 
Nor, though it is true that Elihu sees in suffering a purpose of grace, is it 
at all clear that he views it as sent only (or even chiefly) for the correction 
of latent sin : and pride is alluded to by him only in 33'^ 36^.'' It may be 
added that the text and meaning of 33" is not quite certain (see n. there), 
and that the term in 36^^ (nnan') implies anything but subtle spiritual pride : 
it refers, as the context also shows (vv.'""'^), to proud, defiant, opposition 
to God's will and refusal to serve Him — the very opposite of Job's blame- 
less and God-fearing life. There would, too, be something humorous in 
Elihu, who certainl)' suffers from no excess of humility, rebuking Job for 
spiritual pride. See, further, on 33*''^ (p. 285) 34^. 

Of the very extensive literature, in addition to commentaries, introduc- 
tions to the OT., and articles in Bible Dictionaries on the purpose of the 
book, the following may be mentioned : Bernstein (as cited in § 28 n.) ; 
Seinecke, Der Grundgedanhe des B. Ijoh (1863) ; Godet, Etudes Bibliques 
(1873), E. T. (1875); Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects (1867), i. 
266 f. ; Wellhausen, in JDT, 1871, 552-557 ; W. H. Green, The Argument 
0/ the Book of Job unfolded (1873); J. B. Mozley, Essays Historical and 
Theological, 1878, ii. 164-254 ; Giesebrecht, Der Wendepunkt des B. H. 
(1879); C. H. H. Wright, Biblical Essays (1886), 1-33; A. M. Fairbairn, 
The City of God {\BS6), 143 ff. ; G. G. Bradley, Lectures on the Book of Job 
(1888) ; Meinhold, " Das Problems des B. H.," in Neue Jahrbb. f deutsche 
Theol. (1892), 63 ff. ; J. Ley, " Das Problem in B. H. u. dessen Losung," in 
Neue Jahrbb. f. Phil. u. Padag. (1896), 125 ff.; E. Meyer, Gesch. d. 
Altertums (1901), iii. 228-231 ; A. S. Peake, The Problem of Suffering in the 
OT. (1904), especially c. v. ; H. W. Robinson, The Cross of Job (1916). 

§§ 42-43. THE AGE OF THE BOOK IxV 

VI. The Age of the Book. 

§ 42. As to the age of Job, opinions have differed perhaps 
more widely than with regard to any other book of the OT., 
though in recent times there is increasing agreement that 
while the book is certainly older than the ist, it is scarcely 
older than the 5th or at all events the 6th cent. B.C. 

It is often said that the book was traditionally ascribed to 
Moses ; this is not correct, if by it is meant that such was the 
consistent ancient opinion. On the other hand, early Jewish 
was scarcely less divided than modern opinion. In the well- 
known passage in the Babylonian Talmud [Baba Bathra, 14b, 
15a) on the origin of the books of the OT. it is stated that 
" Moses wrote his own book, and the passages about Balaam 
and Job " ; but in the discussion that follows various Rabbis 
ascribe the book (or the lifetime) of Job to the age of Isaac, or 
Jacob, or Joseph, or the spies, or the Judges, or of the kingdom 
of Sheba, or of the return from the Captivity, or of Ahasuerus. 

The passage is translated in full in Ryle, Canon of the OT. 273 fF. The 
various opinions rest on a very crude form of criticism ; e.g. the similarity 
of pv Job i' and J'j; Nu. 13-"; the use of iSN in Job 19^ and Ex. 33'" ; the 
supposition that Job was married to Dinah, Jacob's daughter, since in 
connection with both Dinah and Job's wife the term n'73: is used or implied 
(Job 2i». Gn. 34^). 

§ 43. External evidence clearly defines c. 100 B.C. as the 
downward limit of date ; and by then the book already con- 
tained the speech(es) of Elihu, and had been translated into 

The evidence consists of a passage extracted by Eus. {Prcep. Ev. ix. 25) 
from Alexander Polyhistor (80-40 B.C.), who in turn cites from Aristeas ; 
Aristeas having summarized the story in the Prologue runs much more 
summarily over the rest of the story ; in Polyhistor's words : 'Aptaralas S4 
<pT]cnv iv Ttj) irepi 'lovSaiwv . . . (pavXus di avTov (sc. 'IwjS) diaKeifi^vov iXdeTv els 
iiriaK€\pLV 'EXt^ai' tov Qaifj-aviTCov ^acn\4a Kai BaXSaS tCiv "Zavxaioiv rvpavvov Kal 
'Eiixpap TOV Maj'j'ac'wi' /SatrtX^a, IXOeiv 8e Kol 'EXiovv tov Bapaxir)^ "^^^ ZuiSixriv. 
napaKaXovfiivov Si, (pdvai Kai x^P^s TrapaKXrjcreus i^ifievelv avrbv ?v re ry evae^elq. 
Kal Tois dsLVoh, Tbv 5i debv, dyaadfVTa ttjv evxpvx^av a&rou, TTJt re v6aov ainbv 
i.irvXvaai, koI iroXXuiv Kvpiov inrdp^ewv TroiTJcrai. 

Ixvi THE ROOK OF JOB [§§ 43-44. 

Ben-Sirach ^ (r. 180 B.C.) refers to Job as a person mentioned 
in the book of Kzekiel ; but this would sug^gest unfamiliarity 
rather than familiarity with the Book of Job, and yet the 
parallel passages (§ 45) prove that (unless Job was written 
later than Sir.) Sir. was actually familiar with the book of 

§ 44. We are thus thrown back on internal evidence for 
such determination of the upward and of such exacter deter- 
mination of downward limits of date as may be possible. 

(i) Since the author's imagination extends to the setting of 
the poem, it is a mistake to infer the age of the writer from the 
circumstances of the hero of the book. Broadly speaking, the 
age in which the writer intends us to think of Job as living, but 
certainly not that to which he himself belonged, is the patri- 
archal age, and he depicts conditions which he regarded as 
characteristic of that age. This is very clearly seen in the 
length of life assigned to Job : he lived 140 years after the 
restoration of his fortunes, and therefore something approach- 
ing, if not exceeding 200 in all (perhaps 210 years, 42i^n.); 
in other words, his years exceeded those of Abraham 
(175, Gn. 25'^), Isaac (180, Gn. 35^^), and Jacob (147, 
Gn. 47^^)) though they fell much short of those of the ante- 
diluvians. As part of this imaginative setting, not necessarily as 
reproducing the conditions actually prevailing in or peculiar to 
the author's own age, or applying to the writer's own circum- 
stances, we may regard the description of Job's wealth in cattle 
and slaves (i^, cp. Gn. 13; 26^^"^* 33), his sacrificing as head of a 
family, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, without the assistance 
of a priest, his use of burnt-offerings rather than the more 
specific expiatory sacrifices of the later codes (i^ n.), the 
currency of the ffsiiah (42^^, Gn. 33^^, Jos. 24^"^). It is only 
when familiarity with conditions and customs not belonging to 
the patriarchal age, or at all events less characteristic of it 
than of later ages, is shown, that we may look for light on the 
writer's own age : thus in contrast to the Hebrew patriarchs. 
Job is apparently himself a monogamist (2^^- 19^^ 31^*^) and a 

» 49'" p^s •■z-n h2 'j^'jDDn 3VN nx T^tn . . . ^Kpin'. In ffi which mistrans- 
lates, and EV. which depends on €r, the reference disappears. 

§§44-45.] THE AGE OF THE BOOK Ixvii 

member of a society in which monoy;^aiiiy prevails (27''' not 
being- proof to the contrary)— a feature most characteristic of 
an age later than Dt. (21^^-^^) and reflected also in other 
Wisdom literature (cp. EBi. 2947) ; the part played by Sheba 
— the Sabaeans — in i^^n. 6^^ can be illustrated by an inscrip- 
tion dating- probably from about 525 B.C. ; and the political 
vicissitudes reflected in 9^* la^^fif.^ the unhappy social conditions 
suggested by 3^0 71 24^-, the developed judicial system implied in 
the phraseology of 9^*-!^ (cp. Index, s.v. Law), are scarcely those 
of the patriarchal but of some later age, though whether that be 
the age of Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, 
or some other, the allusions are far too general to determine. 
See, further, 15^^ n. 

This line of evidence does not by itself lead to any very 
precise or secure result, though some of it suggests a date not 
earlier than the Exile. 

§ 45. (2) The book is certainly not a product of the earliest 
periods of Hebrew literature. It is certainly later than Ps. 8, 
for in 7^'^ the writer parodies Ps. 8^ ^^^ ; if, as is probable, Ps. 8 
implies familiarity with P, and P was written about 500 B.C., 
this alone brings down the book of Job as late as the 5th cent. 
B.C. It is scarcely less certain that in 3^"^*^ the author of Job 
is dependent on Jer. 20^4-^8^ though Di. (p. xxxiif.) still 
strongly argued for the dependence of Jer. 26^^'^^ on Job 3^"^°. 

There are many other passages in Job which have points of resemblance 
with passages in other books, and some of such a character as to indicate 
direct literary dependence on one side or other ; but (i) it is generally diffi- 
cult to determine on which side dependence lies; (2) some of the passages 
in question are of uncertain date. If the dependence lies mainly or 
exclusively on the side of Job, it shows very great familiarity of the 
author with the literature of his people, and also his great literary craftman- 
ship, for the phrases or figures borrowed are used by him freshly and 
independently ; if the dependence is on the side of the other writings, the 
parallels show the extent of the influence of the book of Job on subsequent 
writers. Probably by far the greater number of cases of real literary 
dependence is on the part of the author of Job. Of the vast number of 
"parallels" that have been collected, a selection may be given, though in 
by no means all even of these is direct literary connection necessarily 



[§§ 45-46. 

With 14" i22«- cp. Is. i9'' 





12^ 21' I 



3.3 ,98 





I ,.35 






Hos. lo'^ Pr. 22* 
„ „ 6\Dt. 323« 

„ Am. 4I3 58 9« 

„ Gn. ii«(J) 

„ Jer. i5'8 

„ ,. 49"* 

„ „ 26>\ La. 3" 

o >> 

,, ,, 208, La. 38 

„ Is. 40^', La. 3'-« 

,, ., 44 

,, ., 50" 

,, ,, 40«S Ps. 9o« 

„ „ 59*- Ps. 7'' 

M 53" 
,. 51 


Gn. 3529 (P) 258 

With 31" 



72" 1 61 






l85(. 2 1 17 


cp. Mai. 2 

„ La. 3" 





719 lO^O'. 



1 21 


.. 3' 

,16 ,48 

^14. «8 
i> 3 

Pr. 311'- 

)> J 

„ 81^ 
„ 8"^ 

„ 4^=' 

„ 827 

„ 3»'-8"-i» 

„ 13* 24^" 


Ps. 107 
„ 107 
,, 107 


107" ii4« 


>> 119 

., 39 
>, 72 

Qoh. 51* 

,60. log 


Sir. 2 




For further discussion of these and other parallels and conclusions (often 
in different directions), see J. Earth, Beitrdge zur Erkldrung des Buches 
Hiob, 1-17 ; Di. xxx.-xxxiv. ; Seyring-, Die Abhangigkeit der Spriiche 
Salomos cc. i-g von Hiob (1889); H. L. Strack, "Die Prioritat d. B. H. 
g-egeniiber den Einleitungsreden z. d. Spriichen Salomonis," in TSK, 1S96, 
609 ff. ; Che. Job and Sol. 83-89 ; The Prophecies of Isaiah^, i. 228 (on 
parallels with the Song of Hezekiah), ii. 245 f. ; Dr. LOT^ 434 f. 

§ 46. (3) The theology and relig-icus ideas of the book of 
Job are those of a relatively late period, though not of quite 
the latest period represented in the OT. The book presupposes 

[a) a general agreement as to the religious value of the individ- 
ual independently of the community, of personality : yet also 

(b) a practically unchallenged conviction that the real life or 
personality of the individual is terminated by death ; (a) is the 
necessary condition of the entire discussion, and (b) determines 
its limitation : had there been a general belief in the survival 

§ 46.] THE AGE OF THE BOOK 1x1 


after death of the personahty with undiminished or enhanced 
relations with God, this must have affected the discussion by 
Job and the friends of the sufferings of the righteous and the 
prosperity of the wicked in this life. Now of these two ideas 
(a) is seen emerging against the still prevalent acceptance of 
the principle of solidarity at the end of the 7th cent. B.C. (Dt. 
24^^ Ezk. 18. 33, Jer. 3i2''^-)> ^"<^ i^) ^^^^ already discarded by 
at least the important circles represented by the book of Daniel 
(122 : cp. also the post-exilic prophecy, Is. 24-27 ; and see Isaiah, 
p. 399 f.), i-e. by about 167 b.c.^ Consequently the book of 
Job is best explained as the product of a period lying between 
the close of the 7th and the beginning of the 2nd cent. B.C., 
and indeed at some distance from either of these extreme 
limits; considerably earlier than the 2nd cent., for even the 
Elihu speeches, separated probably, as the linguistic differences 
suggest, by a century or two from the rest of the book, say 
nothing of an after life ; and considerably later than the 7th 
cent., for what there appears as a freshly gained perception 
is here the common possession of Job and his opponents in 
debate who represent the current theology of the time. 
Certainly the question of the sufferings of the righteous was 
much discussed from the close of the 7th cent, onwards, but 
the question is at first raised either with reference to nations 
(Hab. i^^'-, Is. 40-55), or if in reference to individuals (Jer. \2>-'^) 
yet in such a way as not to suggest that it was one of general 
concern. Such Pss. as 37. 49 and 73, which discuss the question, 
are themselves of uncertain date though scarcely pre-exilic. 
But Mai. 2^7 3^*- 15, certainly written in the middle of the 5th 
cent. B.C., offer significant parallels to the formulation of the 
problem in Job. 

Other ideas agree well with such a date as the 5th cent, or 
independently suggest it. A lofty monotheism (cp. i*^ n. 
2i26-2s n^)^ such as Deut. -Isaiah had argued for, is presupposed 
in all parts of the book; and the descriptions in Job of God's 
majesty and might in nature and history are not as the similar 

* The doctrine of a future life also appears in (&— not only in the Appen- 
dix to the book, most of which at least is later than the original version, 
but also in 14" : see Exp.^ 1920 (June), 430. 

Ixx THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 46-47. 

description in Deut.-Is. introduced to prove that there is no room 
for any other but one God, but that that one God's ways are 
past man's comprehension. Under God are angels (5I 151^ 37^) 
with well-defined functions (ct. i K. 22), such as that of inter- 
ceding- for men (5^ n. 33^3 n.) or criticizing them — the Satan. 
The Satan of Job appears to belong to an earlier period than 
Satan (without the art) of i Ch, 21^ (not earlier than c. 300 B.C.), 
and is decisively earlier than 8ui^o\o<; of Wis. 2^*, but is later 
rather than as early as or earlier than the Satan of Zee. 3 
(520 B.C.) : see i^ n. The highly developed ethical standpoint, 
implicit particularly in c. 31, also points to a relatively late 

§ 47- (4) Like the ideas, the language of the book is late, 
though not so late as that of some other books of the OT. {e.g: 
Eccl. Ch.). Certain linguistic features taken by themselves 
would point even to a period earlier rather than later than the 
5th cent. B.C. : thus ''3:k (§ 25) is relatively more frequent in 
Job than in Is. 40-55 (Job — excluding Elihu — "'33X 12, •':k 20; 
Is. 40-55, "'3:k 18, ^iK 54). Many other features point away 
from the latest periods — e.£: the use of the waw conversive 
(ct. Eccl.), the avoidance of ^ (ct. e.£: Eccl.). On the other 
hand, there are distinct signs of lateness. Even apart from the 
Elihu speeches, the Aramaisms (§ 28) — decidedly more con- 
spicuous than in Is. 40-55 — are very noticeable ; and so also is 
the use of i? as the nofa ace. : see 5^ n. 8^ n. 9^^ n. 12^^ 14'^^ 
jg28 2i22 23^ — and perhaps 34^ (Elihu). The rarer forms of 
particles and pronominal suffixes (§ 26), which form a striking 
feature of the language of Job, might be largely explained as 
the idiosyncrasy of a writer of any period, but as a whole (cp. 
Isaiah, p. 467) point rather to a relatively late period. The 
vocabulary contains very much that is peculiar (see Index II.) 
to the book, including a number of words explicable only from 
the Arabic,^ and sometimes termed, with questionable propriety, 
Arabisms ; but this does not, at all events directly, contribute 
anything to the determination of the date. 

Thus the various lines of evidence converge towards the 
conclusion that Job was most probably written in the 5th cent. 

^ See references under "Arabic" in Index I. 

§§ 47-48.] THE TEXT Ixxi 

B.C. ; since much of the evidence taken in isolation is neither 
rigorous nor indicative of such narrow limits as a century, the 
possibility of a somewhat earlier or a somewhat later date may 
be entertained as alternatives ; but several lines of evidence 
are very unfavourable to any theory of much earlier or much 
later date. 

VII. The Text. 

§ 48. As in other books of the OT., so in Job variants that 
materially affect the sense, whether between existing MSS of 
^t] or between the Qre and K^thib, are not numerous ; but ffi 
here, as elsewhere, points to the existence of now lost MSS 
that differed more extensively. Unfortunately the determina- 
tion of the Hebrew text lying behind (B: is rendered peculiarly 
difficult in Job by the fact that the version is often free and 
paraphrastic ; ^ and the use of G for determining the original 
text of i^ is greatly limited by the fact that much of that text 
was not rendered at all. 

Printed editions of G (including Swete's), following the 
great mass of Greek MSS, it is true, present a text not differing 
greatly in extent from ^ ; but this text, as we know from 
the most direct and certain evidence, ^ has resulted from the 
addition to the short ancient version of Job, dating from before, 
but not necessarily long before, 80 B.C. ,2 of renderings of many 
passages not contained in that version from later Greek versions, 
chiefly 0, very much more rarely 'A, H (2nd cent. a.d.). 
These additions to the original text of G were made by Origen 
in the Hexapla, but were there distinguished by the use of 
diacritical marks ; subsequently the Hexaplaric text drove out 
the much shorter text, and, further, the diacritical marks were 

1 Many illustrations of this will be found in the phil. nn. (e.g. on 8'" 9'^ 
14I* 15^ 17^- 2 20^* 29'8 3oi3- " 32" 36"). See also Bi. De Indole vers. Alex. 
Jobi, 1862. 

- Orig-en, Ad African. 4. Cp. Jer. Prcef. in Hiob. 

^ Aristeas (c. 80 B.C.) made use of the version (cp. § 43). On this and the 
date of ffi, see Swete, OT. in Greek, 25, 370 f. ; Schiirer, Gesch. d. jiid. 
Volkes^, 311, 356 f.; J. Freudenthal, Hellenistische Sfudien, 136 ff. Gratz 
in the Monaisschrift, 1877, p. 83 ff. (cp. Exp., June 1920, p. 430) argued 
unconvincingly that ffi was no older than the middle of the first cent. A.D. 

Ixxii THE BOOK OF JOB [§48. 

commonly omitted, surviving- only in two Greek minuscules,' 
in two Latin MSS,^ and in the unique MS of ,S".^ These five 
MSS-* differ in some places as to the positions of the marks, 
and so leave a certain amount of doubt as to the exact extent 
of the additions made by Origen. 

A witness of another kind to the original extent of ffli 
appeared with the discovery of 35 — the Sahidic version of ffij.^ 
Ciasca, who edited this, argued that loi was a pre-Hexaplaric 
version of G, and his view was commonly accepted. Burkitt, 
on the other hand {EBi. 5027 f.), argues that iJl is " a transla- 
tion of Origen's revised text wzVi the passages under asterisk 
omitted'' \ in this case Iv is still a valuable witness, though its 
evidence is now in reality early evidence as to the use of the 
Hexaplaric marks. Be the exact relation of iat to the Hexa- 
plaric text what it may, from it the passages asterisked in 
the MSS of ffir, 3L, and -S" are, broadly speaking,^ absent, and 

' HP 248 ( = Cod. Vaticanus, 346, c. xiv. saec.) and the Cod. Colbertinus 
(F'aris, nr. 1952). 

^ An Oxford MS (Bodleian 2426) and a Tours MS (Turonensis 18) : ed. 
P. de Lag-arde in Mitiheihmgen, ii. 193-237 : cp. G. Beer in ZATW, 1896, 
297-314; 1897,97-122; 1898,257-286. 

^ Published in facsimile by A. M. Ceriani, Codex Syro-hexaplaris 
Ambrosia7ius, Milan, 1874. 

"• The evidence of these together with the fragments of 92 'A were 
collected by Field in Origetiis Hexaplorum qiicE supersutit (1875) — published 
before the discovery of 11^. For corrections of and additions to Field, see 
J. B. Pitra, Analecta Sacra (1883), 556 f. ; E. Klostermann, Analecta zur 
Septuaginta (1895), 68-74. See also E. Tisserant in RB, 1912, 481-503 ; 
1919, 89-105, 500-505, and A. Rahlfs, Mit. d. Septuaginta-Unternehmen, i. 
7 {'Q'S) "'I'l o" *^he Greek Uncial Cod. Hierosolymitanus Sanctas Crucis, 
no 36. 

' Edited by Ciasca in Sacrorum Bibl. fragmenta Copto-Sahidica, Romae, 
1889, ii. 1-68. From mutilation of MSS, cc. 39^-40^ of this version are 
missing. The lower Egyptian, or Bohairic, version of <& was edited and 
translated by H. Tattam {The ancient Coptic Version of the book 0/ Job, 
London, 1846) ; but this version contains the Hexaplaric additions and is of 
relatively little interest. An index of existing Coptic texts of Job is given 
by A. Vaschalde in RB, 1920, 95-98. 

•" Thus the only stichoi asterisked in 5" and yet present in ii are g^""" (in 
It before 9'^") 17'*^'^ 20^- ■*" 25"'' 27^ 3o=*2b ; and of these 25"'' and 27' (in ffi exactly 
= 29', which is not asterisked even in ,S") are not asterisked in any other 
MSS. On the possibility of some of the remaining four passages being 
pre-Origenian, see p. Ixxiii, n. 3. 

§§48-49.] THE TEXT Ixxiii 

so far as extent is concerned ijl closely represents the pre- 
Orig'enian and presumably also the orig-inal state of ffi. It is 
probable, indeed, that to a very small extent the present defect 
of H is due to loss in the transmission of lit itself.^ On the 
other hand, there is some reason for thinkings that two passag"es 
corresponding- to nothing in %l but found in lix as in all other 
authorities for (G after 2'-' 42^'^, formed no part of the original 
text of (5 ; ^ and it is also possible that a very small number of 
entire stichoi common to (K, I3t, and ^, are derived from or 
influenced by the later Greek Versions.^ 

§ 49. Of the existing text of f^, then, there appears to have 
been in the original text of ffi no equivalent for (i) the passages 
absent from IjI (except i^^^ 6^^^ is^^a 3315b. 1 6a ^y^ihy^ (2) some 
dozen stichoi in 39^-40^* (lost through mutilation of the MS in 

• Due to loss, probably in the transmission of let (and if not, then in the 
earlier transmission of the text of ffi rendered by IS) are probably the few 
lines absent from 1^ though not asterisked in any of the existing MSS con- 
taining- the Hexaplaric marks : there are i'**" 6*'* and 15^^* ^^'^^^ 1** 37^^*'- 
In the case of 23^^'^' ^"^1 homoioteleuton, as Ciasca pointed out, would easily 
account for the loss of the lines in Sahidic, while the rendering of nn by vovs 
instead of irvev/j.a points strongly to ffir rather than 9 or any of the other 
later versions. 

^ See T/ie Additions in the Ancient Greek Version of Job {Exp., June 
1920, 422-438). The conclusions there reached were that the speech of 
Job's wife in 2" as well as the Appendix (after 42'^) formed no part of the 
original version : the vocabulary in 2^ points strongly to a different hand : 
note XdrpLS, fioxdos, aXOpios, diafVKTepeveii', irXavrJTis, fis rb Kevbv. The minor 
additions of a word or a clause such as occur in i'* "• ^- ^*- -^ 2'° 5^- " 7'^* '* 
13"' '5"^ 24^ 31^ 2'^^ 38' 41' 42'- '"• "• ^® may most or all of them be original to 
the version. 

^ From what has been said above (p. Ixxii, n. 6), it is clear that the stichoi 
present in 3£t, which all the MSS with the Hexaplaric marks agree in marking 
as additions, do not exceed half a dozen. In one or two of these cases, style 
supports the suggestion of the Hexaplaric marks that the stichoi, though 
in 3St, were derived from, or at least as now read influenced by, 9. Thus in 
'7'* X<^A"* ( = i2j;) points to 9, who substitutes it for ffi's irirpa in 14*, for ffit's 
Y?) in 19^* ; note also in 20^ iraiSeia (cp. 9 36^" 37^ ; and ct. vovd^T-qfjLa in 5" 
ffi). It is possible I^ in these cases rests on a text of ffi not yet affected by 9 : 
thus in 17'* errKA^ mig-ht render yrjs (which, if the stichos actually stood in 
(5, would almost certainly have been used) just as well as the x'^'Maros of the 
existing text. So in 20* Traideta and perhaps also dwoKpiOrjfferai. /jlol rather 
point to 9 ; but It might be a rendering not of these words, but of 
I'ovdiTij/xa (cp. 5^^) and Stoo-tt /xoi dwdKpKni' (cp. 1 3" ffi and M), which would 
probably have been used by (ffi. 

Ixxiv THE BOOK OF JOE [§§ 49-50. 

U), VIZ. 2gl3-18. 28. ^^^' i^o'^j} TTexpa? Kul aTTOKpVcfia)) "^^- '^^ 

asterisked in S", and in some or all of the other MSS giving- 
the Hexaplaric marks ; (3) certain stichoi, present in 1> but 
asterisked in S" and (or) other MSS, such as 17^^ 20^. The 
number of stichoi involved in (i) and (2) is between 350 and 
400; to these (3) adds at most a relatively negligible quantity.' 
A list of the omissions of ffi is given in § 31. 

§ 50. Does, now, this defect of ffi represent an earlier or later 
form of the text than ^ ? ^ Is it due — in the main at least — to 
the loss or disregard on the part of the translation of what 
previously existed? or is it due to the subsequent expansion of 
the Hebrew text by the addition of the matter now found in ^, 
but absent from the earlier form of ffi? In considering this 
question these observations may be made : 

(i) The main structure of the book is unaffected by the 
defect of ffit : in ffi as in f^ there are found Prologue, Dialogue, 
with three cycles — two complete and one incomplete — of 
speeches, the speeches of Elihu, the speeches of Yahweh (includ- 
ing the lengthy descriptions of Behemoth and Leviathan), and 
the Epilogue. 

(2) The defect is not at all evenly distributed over the book. 
The following table may serve to indicate this sufficiently : 

^ A defect of 350 stichoi represents about ^ of the whole, the total 
length of the existing text of f^ being equivalent to about 2200 stichoi, and 
the stichoi of the conflate Greek text ranging in different MSS from 202 1^ 
2126^* to 2153^. Some of the stichometries indicate a larger proportion of 
originally absent stichoi, giving the number of non-asterisked stichoi, i.e. 
the stichoi of the original version, as 1800, 1700, 1600, the last figure having 
the better authority (cp. Swete, Introduction, 347, 350 ; PRE viii. loi with 
references). Klostermann {ib. 102) concludes that ffi was originally shorter 
by at least a quarter than the existing text of J^. 

^ The priority of 3^ was generally unchallenged till 1889, when E. Hatch, 
in Essays on Biblical Greek (vi.), argued for the priority of CIr — that, in the 
main (5 represented the original extent of the book and |§ an amplification. 
In favour of the priority of ffi is also Bi. (2); cp. the English translation of 
Job by E. J. Dillon in The Sceptics of the OT., 1895. This theory has been 
criticized and the priority of fflr maintained especially by Di. {^Sitzungs- 
berichte d. Berliner Ak., 1890, pp. 1345-1373)1 Dr. (Contemporary Review, 
P'eb. 1896, p. 159 ff.), Bu. 


THE tp:xt 



Approximate Pkr- 

Stichoi absent 


FROM ffi. 

WHOLE Number 

Prologue .... 

OF Stichoi in %]. 


First Cycle of Speeches — 

Cc. 3-6 . 

„ 7-1 1 . 


., 12-14 • 



Second Cycle 15-21 



Third „ 22-31 



Elihu 32-37 



Yahvveh 38-42-« 





(3) The passages absent from ffi are not in Hebrew dis- 
tinguished from the rest by any differences of style and vocab- 
ulary, but on the other hand they are connected with them by 
some noticeable similarities. Thus what is absent from (& 
employs the same three terms for God — ^k (7 times), m!?N (3 
times), "'ntJ' (2 times) ; and as within ^ there is a difference in 
the degree of preference for 7N (see above, § 24), so also is 
there in the passages of Elihu absent from ffi (^x six times, 
misN once). Similarly the passages absent from fflr contain in 
^ several of the rarer particles (see above, § 26), as, e.^., ''ha in 
29^9 and id-^y (272^ 302^). 

(4) The removal of the passages absent from ffit in many 
cases destroys the poetical structure by depriving one parallel 
line of its fellow, e.^. 10*^ 201*^ 3127^ 33«=* 346b. nb. isb ^^eb^ 
while in few if any cases does fflr yield good distichs where ^ 
has tristichs or isolated stichoi. It is true Bi. establishes at 
least an appearance of a very rigid poetical structure, but this 
he does not by accurately reproducing (G, but by omitting both 
more and less : e.g: in 10* he omits 10** with ffir, but then also 
10^* without the authority of ffi, in order to obtain a distich of 
sorts indeed, but inferior to either of the distichs in f^. 

Of the foregoing (i) is obviously quite indecisive: a book 
of the present length of ^ may have been abbreviated ; on the 
other hand, a shorter book which had already been expanded 

Ixxvi THE BOOK OF JOB [§§ 50-51. 

by the addition of the speeches of EHhu might at a later date 
have been expanded in quite a different way by the addition of 
what is present in %1, but was absent from ffi. But (2) already 
inclines the balance against the priority of G : it would have 
been natural for an abbreviator to shorten increasingly in the 
successive cycles, which in general cover much the same ground, 
and most of all in the speeches of Elihu, which contribute so 
little that is fresh. On the other hand, increasing activity on 
the part of an expander such as would be required to account 
for the distribution of the additional matter is less likely. 
Finally, (3) and (4) tell heavily against the priority of (& and in 
favour of ^. 

But although in the main f^, so far as extent is concerned, 
represents an earlier text than fflr, some of the omissions of ffi 
are of passages which there are independent reasons for sus- 
pecting not to belong to the original text of P| : see, e.^., 7^ 12^ 
23'' with the notes. Yet it must remain uncertain whether even 
these passages which relatively to the whole omissions of ffi 
are exceedingly few, are absent because not in G's Hebrew text, 
or like the rest of the omissions are due to abbreviation — in 
these cases accidentally restoring the original text. 

§ 51. In those parts of the book rendered by the early version, 
ffi sometimes points to a better text than |^, though less fre- 
quently, and on account of its paraphrastic tendency less clearly, 
than in some other books {e.g: Samuel). The other ancient 
versions ^ made direct from the Hebrew rarely serve, where 
C& fails, to correct f^. Many places remain in which neither ^ 
nor any text to which the versions point can be regarded as 
original : in these cases the original must be regained, if at all, 
by conjecture, and here rhythm becomes a valuable aid. 

' On these see for S, A. Mandl, Die Peschittha z. Hiob, Leipzig, 1892 ; 
E. Stenij, De Syriaca libri Jobi interpretatione quce Peschifa vacatur, 
Helsingfors, 1887; E. Baumann, "Die Verwendbarkeit der PeSita z. B. 
Hiob fiir die Texlkritik," in ZATW, 1898-1900 : for ST, W. Bacher, " Das 
Targum z. Hiob," in Monatsschrift, 1871, 208-223, 283^; M. Lewin, 
Targum u. Midrasch zum Buche Hiob, 1895. 


VIII. The Rhythms^ of the Book of Job. 

§ 52. The prevailing rhythmical form in the book is that of 
the balanced distich of two lines each containing- three stresses 
(3:3); but this is only the prevailing, not the exclusive 
rhythm ; still less do the lines necessarily consist exclusively 
of seven syllables (Bi.), or the distichs regularly coalesce into 
quatrains (Bi. Du.). 

The dominance of the 3 : 3 rhythm is too obvious to call for 
proof here, but on the extent of departure from it — certainly in 
the existing and probably also in the original text — something 
more must be said. It follows from their rigid quatrain theory 
that Bi. and Du. allow no tristichs in the original text, though 
in what they regard as additions to the original they some- 
times imagine more tristichs than exist now, or ever existed 
(see p. 205). In the existing text there are in all a considerable 
number of tristichs, or, alternatively, distichs preceded or 
followed by isolated stichoi ; ^ some of these are open to more 
or less suspicion,^ but a number remain which there is no 
reason whatever, beyond the fact that they are tristichs, for 
questioning. Although elsewhere combined with 3 : 3 there 
occur as occasional variants other divisions of the full six-stress 
period, viz. 2 : 2 : 2 or 2 : 4 or 4 : 2 ; in the book of Job these 
variants are at most exceedingly rare: see phil. n. on 17^- ^\ 
also AJSL xxxvi. 95 ff. A striking example of 2 : 2 : 2 would be 
9^^, if the text is correct there. 

On the other hand, of other rhythms there are examples, 
relatively rare, it is true, yet actually too numerous in the 
present text for it to be probable that none are original. Thus 
in the phil. n. on 17^* (p. 11^) references are given to 22 

' Cp. G. B. Gray, The Forms of Hebrew Poetry ; and more briefly, Isaiah, 
pp. lix-lxviii, on the subject of Hebrew rhythm generally. For rhythm in 
Job in particular, see Bi. ; J. Ley, TSK, 1895, 635 ff., 1897, p. 7 ff . ; P. 
Vetter, Die Metrik des Buches Job, 1897 ; H. Grimme, Theolog. Quartal- 
schrift, 1898, pp. 295 ff., 421 ff., 1899, 1 12 if., 259 ff. ; Sievers ; Honth. 44-70. 
Bu.'s Comm. contains much detailed criticism of Bi. 

"^ See 3^- '• ^- ' 4'" 5^ 6^- ^" 7" S'^ 9-* lo^- ^'^ ")• "^ 1 1"- 1^'- 12^- *• *• i^. 27 , ,4f. 7. 12. 

13.14.19 1^28. 30 (, ^1.11) i84 1^12.27.29 2o23 2ll7.33 245. 12. 13. 16. 18 (20). 24 26!^ 283.4.28 
30S 3 ,7. 34 33I5. 23f. 3^37 3721. 23 3341 3^25. 

^ See, e.g., p. 30 on the four tristichs in 3''"'. 

Ixxviii THE BOOK OF JOB [§ 52. 

examples of 3 : 2 (several with the echoing' parallelism charac- 
teristic of this rhythm: see, e.g.^ 8^^ 12^'^ 18^^ 27^^ 29^ 33^2 361* 
37^ 38^ 39^)j to which a few more might be added, for example, 
two in 721. But 40^* is very questionable proof that 2 : 3 was 
used. Of 4:3a dozen examples are referred to in the same 
note ; and of these, too (add 42* ^^ and 29^^), a few are likely 
to be original, though several are open to serious doubt on 
one ground or another. Even possible instances of 3 : 4 are 
very rare (phil. n. on 21^^, p. 14"/: cp. 29^, p. 200). The 
examples of 4 : 4 are few: however, see 3^ 152*' 22^^ 27^^ 29* 
34^^, but 15-^ 2\^ and 23^ are all doubtful (see phil. nn.). 
The rhythm 2 : 2, i.e. a single period of four stresses divided 
into equal parallel lines, is very rare ; but 10^ seems a secure 
example of it : 19^* is much more doubtful (see phil. n.). 




I. II. The Prologue. — This consists of a prelude, i^"^, two 
scenes in heaven, i^"^^ and 2^-^, two series of consequences to 
Job on earth of what had been determined in heaven, i^^^"-- 
2^-1°, and a conclusion, 2^^-'^^. The prelude depicts Job at the 
height of his prosperity, rich in children and possessions ; in 
the conclusion, Job is seen, not for any fault in him, but for 
reasons revealed to the reader though concealed from the 
sufferer and his friends, deprived of children, possessions, and 
health, and thus brought to such a degree of adversity as to 
stupefy into silence the very friends who had come to comfort 
him. The writer relies on repetition rather than variation for 
emphasis and effect; for it is the repetitions rather than the 
slight variations, in so far as these latter are original, that are 
prominent in the account of the scenes in heaven, the descrip- 
tions of Job's character (i^-^ 2^), and his constancy {i^^ 2^'^), 
and in the words of the messengers (i^*"^^) ; and yet along 
with this use of repetition, there is an almost more striking 
effect of concentration and compression. In these two brief 
chapters the long and peaceful earlier life of Job, and the series 
of tragic actions of what threatens to be its close, are alike, 
though briefly, yet vividly depicted with sufficient fullness for 
the writer's purpose, but with a severe neglect of all that is 

Two things the writer intends to stand out : the character 
of Job and his prosperity ; the one as constant, the other as 
passing ; the one as esssential, the other as accidental. The 

2 THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 1-5. 

I. ^ There was (once) a man in the land of Us, whose name 
was Job. That man was perfect and upright, fearing God 

wealth and the fortune of Job grow, cuhninate, vanish ; the 
character of Job remains intact. Without his character Job is 
nothing ; without his wealth he remains everything. But it 
is with this constancy of character, not the growth or formation 
of it, that the writer is concerned ; how Job's wealth came is 
indicated, how it vanished is described ; how his character was 
formed is not even indicated : but that it existed before his 
wealth is implied, and how it endured through prosperity and 
in adversity is depicted. In the interest of these two themes, 
the changing fortunes and the enduring character of Job, the 
restraint in the choice of detail and the repetitions are alike 
employed. A modern writer would almost certainly have 
depicted, even within the scope of the Prologue, character as 
well as fortune developing, the two in action and reaction ; 
the ancient writer does not. 

I. 1-5. The character and wealth of Job. 

I. The name and country of the hero of the story are given (*), 
and then immediately the writer passes to the main point — the 
character of Job ^)\ — this was completely good, and so, on 
the current theory, explained his great wealth, but made his 
deprivation of wealth a riddle. There was [once) a ma?t] cp. 
2 S. 12^, and see phil. n. — Us] One of the tribes who together 
made up " the children of the East " (^) : the land of Us lay to 
the East of Palestine, but whether in the Hauran, or farther 
south on the confines of Edom, cannot be certainly determined 
(see Introduction) ; and it has been suggested (Bu. p. xi) that 
even to the writer himself it was a wide and vague term. Be 
this as it may, the writer had a clear idea of the nature of Job's 
country : it lay on the confines of the desert (^^ ; cp. '^- ^'^) to 
the E. of Palestine (^), yet in a district of great farms (^*), 
and near a town (29'^; cp. 2^ n.). Job was at once a great 
sheep-master, like Mesha of Moab (2 K. 3*), a great agri- 
culturist, and a man of great influence in the town. — Joh\ 
strictly 'Ii'i'o^ : see further, on the name. Introduction. — That 
man was\ the tense is frequentative, the following tense (2) 


consecutive: first the character, then, and in consequence, 
the children and the wealth. But the children are all 
grown up, and the sons at least settled in houses of their 
own : this character of Job is, therefore, carried far back, 
and throughout the long years it had habitually manifested 
itself. Job, like Noah before the Flood (Gn. 6** P), like 
Abraham (Gn. 17^ P) and Jacob (Gn. 25-'^ — JE or ? R), is 
complete, sound, free from defect, and, in this sense, perfect 
{tmriy ^ 2^ 8-^ 9-°- -^' -- and six times f outside the book of Job; 
tamlniy 12^ 36* Zl^^i ^'""^ nearly ninety times f elsewhere). 
A satisfactory single rendering for the adj., which will preserve 
in English the connection with the corresponding substantives 
{tummah, 2^-^ 27^ 31^, also Pr. ii^f; torn, 4*^, also Pr. 2^, Ps. 
26^- 1^ al.), is difficult to find ; EV. renders the adj. hy perfect^ 
the subst., excellently, by integrity. Used as ethical terms 
these nouns and adjectives describe rather generally the good 
as contrasted with the bad man : thus one or other of them is 
used combined, or in synonymous parallelism, with it''', ttpright 
(n. or adj.), in Ps. 373^ 2521, Pr. 2^1 2&^ (?) 29IO (?) (cp. 
I K. 9*, Pr. 2^) ; with pn^f (n., adj., or vb.), righteous, in 9^0 12*, 
Ps. f, Gn. 6^ Pr. 11^ (cf. c. 22^ 27^^-, Ps. 152) ; with T\'0^, fidelity, 
truth, in Jg. 9^^- ^^, Jos. 24^^; with r\\>:^., to be innocent, in Ps. 19^* 
(cp. Gn. 20*^) ; they are used in antithesis to D-yic, evil doers 
in 820 (cp. Ps. 645 (•i) after ^ (2)) ; yjj,-,, -wicked, in 920- 22^ Pr. 
11^ 28^2 J Q>j3-j "i{»»3{<j blood-guilty me7i, in Pr. 29^°; and (implicitly) 
'ikkesh, twisted, in 92'', Pr. 10^ 19^ Dt. 32^ (after v.^). 
Noticeable also is the association of being tdmlm with walking 
before God in Gn. 17^ (cp. 6^); and of those whose way, or 
conduct, is perfect ("ji"! ''D'Dn), with "those who walk in the 
law of Yahweh " (Ps. 119^). In so far as the terms retain the 
special meaning suggested by the common meaning of the root 
alike in Hebrew and Arabic, they refer to the cotnpleteness of 
the character ; in Job tdni does not mean perfect in the sense 
of absolutely sinless, for Job, who maintains that he is tcmi 
(27^, cp. 2^), admits the presence in himself of the sins common 
to humanity (132^ H^^^', cp. 14*, if original) ; but it is more 
than a/Lie/xTTTo? (©), ''blameless" (RVm. in Gn. 6^); it 
implies a character that is complete, all of a piece, not, as the 

4 THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 1-3. 

and avoiding- wrong. ^ And so there were born to him seven 
sons and three daughters. ^ And his cattle came to be 

Satan and after him the friends insinuate, one thing on the 
surface and another within ; it is a character that seeks its 
ends openly, along the one true path, not like the 'ikkesh 
trickily, by crooked and devious paths ; or, in a figure used 
by the writer himself, the tarn, or perfect man, is one whose 
character is full-weight: 'Met me be weighed in correct 
scales that God may recognize my integrity," i.e. that I am 
full weight (31^). — Upright] another of the frequently recurring 
ethical terms for the good man : yashar etymologically 
describes the good man as straight, straightforward ; it 
commonly occurs combined or in parallelism with other wide 
ethical terms such as tarn (see last n.), >p3 (4^ 17^), it (8*^), 
p"'n^' {e.g. Ps. 33^ 140^'*) ; in I S. 2(f'^- the term expresses the 
idea of loyalty. As the first adj. applied to Job associates him 
with Noah, Abraham, and Jacob, so does the second with the 
Hebrew ideal of conduct as expressed in the title "the book 
of the upright " for the collection of early poems, and the 
national epithet Yeshurun (see Numbers, p. 347). At the same 
time there is nothing exclusively Jewish associated with either 
term ; for Abimelech of Gerar acts in the integrity [torn) of his 
heart (Gn. 20^), and Achish of Gath and the Philistine princes 
set store by the quality of uprightness (i S. 29^*). — Fearing 
God] this, rather than the distinctively Jewish 
Va/iwe/i, is chosen, and is even used in the speech of the Satan 
to Yahweh in v.^ ; cp. " the fear of God " (Gn. 20*), '* the fear 
of the Almighty " in 6^*. Corresponding- to the fear of God, as 
the principle of conduct, is the habit of avoiding evil (cp. 28^^, 
Pr. 3'^), i.e. not the abandonment of evil courses previously 
followed (an idea otherwise expressed at least in Is. i^*'), but 
the resolute rejection of the opportunities to evil which life 
offers; so in Pr. 13^^ "to avoid evil" is the antithesis to the 
satisfaction of (evil) desire ; cp. also Is. 59^^, and, though less 
obviously, Ps. 34^^ 37^^' Evil is avoided by constant adherence to 
the path of right (Pr. 4^^). Job's life had offered many opportuni- 
ties of wrong-doing (cp. c. 31), but he had refused to use them. 

I. 2-3.] THE PROLOGUE 5 

seven thousand sheep and goats, and three thousand camels, 
and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses. 

2, 3. The ideal character of Job was rewarded with ideal 
g-ood fortune — many children, the majority of whom were sons 
(the foundation of a man's strength and security: Ps. 127^"' 
128), vast numbers of sheep and goats, of camels for distant 
journeys and transport, of asses and oxen for work in the 
fields, and many slaves. The addition of child to child, and 
the increasing multitude of his live-stock as the years passed, 
were recurring tokens of God's approval of Job's constant 
character. The recurrence of the numbers seven, three (in 
sum, ten), and of five and five (again, in sum, ten), symbolize 
the perfection of Job's wealth. Nabal, who was " a very great " 
(i S. 25^) man, had 4000 sheep and goats as against 7000 
assigned here to Job, And Job's possessions are not exhaust- 
ively described, for there is no direct reference to his arable 
land, v.^* 21^"*^ (though the "oxen " suggest agriculture: cp. 
I K. 19I9 21^ 2 S. 2421^-, Dt. 2210 25^) or to other forms of wealth, 
such as gold (cp. Gn. 13^). 

3. Cattle\ The term (njpo), though etymologically wide 
and applicable to possessions of all kinds, is, with one or two 
doubtful exceptions, such as Gn. 49^", limited in usage to 
possessions of cattle (see Lex.). — Sheep and goats\ expressed in 
Hebrew by a single collective term (|NV), inadequately rendered 
by EV. "sheep," or sometimes, less inaccurately, "flock": 
so Gn. 30^^*-, a passage which proves the extent of the term 
in Hebrew. A single term sufficed to cover the two classes of 
animals, inasmuch as the flocks generally contained both sheep 
and goats, as they commonly still do to-day. So Doughty 
{Arabia Deseria, ii. 234) records the contrary as exceptional: 
"we soon saw a great flock trooping down — and unlike all 
that I had seen till now, there were no goats in that nomad 
flock." Cp. Robinson, Biblical Researches, ii. 169, 180. — She- 
asses^ the she-ass (cp. Gn. 32^^) is more valuable than, in 
modern Syria costing three times as much as, the male 
(Wetzst. in Del.). The number of Job's male-asses is not 
given — an indication that his wealth even in cattle is not 

6 THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 3-4. 

and very numerous slaves. And so that man became greater 
than any of the sons of the East. 

* His sons used to g-o to one another's houses, and each 

exhaustively stated. The terms used for sheep and goats, 
and for oxen, are collective, and as such include females ; the 
masc. pi. used of the camels is applicable also to females 
(Gn. 32^^). — The sons of the Easi\ a wide term for the 
inhabitants of the country to the E. of Canaan ; see Introduc- 
tion. In some cases the nomadic tent-dwellers of the Syrian 
desert are intended (Jer. 49^^^-, Ezk. 25^- ^^) ; here, and probably 
in I K. 5^° W^); the term at least includes the settled house- 
dwellers in (rich) agricultural country on the confines of the 

4, 5, A picture of Job's past life before the opening of the 
main story (cp. c. 29). It serves in part to illustrate Job's 
position : his numerous sons live an ample life in houses of 
their own ; but its main purpose is to give an example of Job's 
constant fear of God. The numerous frequentative tenses (see 
phil. n.) indicate that it had (long) become habitual with the 
children to entertain one another at a series of banquets ; and 
that it had become a habit with Job to turn aside by means of 
burnt-oflFerings any anger of God which they might at such 
times have aroused by unbridled act or thought. 

4. A banquet (^nc^'D)] was so called from the prominence 
at such feasts or banquets of drinking (cp. Is. 25^ 5^^^^ which 
led at times to excessive drunkenness (i S. 25^^, Jer. 51^^); 
such banquets were given at the weaning of a child (Gn. 21^), 
a wedding (Gn 29-^, Jg. 14^*'), a birthday (Gn. 40^*^), sheep- 
shearing (i S. 25-*^- 2^, 2 S. 13-'' ffi), and doubtless on other 
special occasions ; but the term implies neither the ordinary 
meal of daily life,^ nor the sacred meal eaten before Yahweh at 
the great annual festivals.^ Is it meant, now, that what was 
exceptional with other people was constant with Job's children, 
that every day in the year (ffi kliG' eKciaTrjv rj/jbepav) they sat 
down and drank and made merry (so Da. Du. Peake) ? or 
only that, as opportunities incident to their life, such, e.^., as 
' So Del. here. ^ So Ew. here. 


on his day to give a banquet : and they used to send and call 
their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. •' When 
they had completed a round of the banqueting- days, Job sent 

sheep-shearing, presented themselves, they made a habit of 
keeping a week (cp. Jg. 14^^- ^^) of banquets, the eldest enter- 
taining on the first day, and so on to the youngest, who would 
entertain on the last day of the festal week (so, in the main, 
Bu. Di.)? Nothing in the text very directly decides those 
questions, certainly not the last clause of ^ to which Du. 
appeals, for in view of the first clause of that v. all the days 
cannot in any case mean every day in the year, but simply all 
the days that concluded a week spent in banqueting. On the 
other hand, the first clause of ^ would read a little unnaturally, 
if the writer really meant that all the days of the year were 
banqueting days ; and again a daily invitation to the sisters is 
less probable than an invitation sent as often as, after an 
interval, a banqueting week was approaching ; see also on ^"^. 
— Ou his day] the day on which it fell to him to entertain : 
scarcely his {biyth-)day (cp. 3^), for the banqueting-days were 
apparently (^) a round of seven successive days, which the 
birthdays of the seven would not naturally have been. — To 
call their three siste7-s\ the sisters may be thought of as still 
unmarried and in their father's house to which their brothers 
send, as in turn Job sends from his house to the houses of his 
sons. But the writer may as little have thought distinctly 
of this point as of the family aflfection which the invita- 
tion to the sisters suggests to some commentators, or of 
the easy or loose manners which Du. infers from it ; or of all 
the brothers being unmarried (Du.) ; the last point, if intended, 
would find a very partial analogy in David's sons Amnon and 
Absalom each living, though unmarried, in houses of their own 
(2 S. 13^- -*') ; for seven adult sons of a single mother — and Job 
is represented as a monogamist — to be all unmarried would 
be flagrantly out of keeping with the social customs of the 
time and country. In any case such details are immaterial 
to the purpose of the story ; and it is wiser not to press the 


and consecrated them, his habit being to rise up early in the 
morning, and to offer burnt-offering-s for them all, one for each. 

5. Sent and cotisecraied them] terse to obscurity. The con- 
secration in question is the preparation by ritual washings and 
the like (cp. Gn. 35^) for participation in some sacred ritual 
(^cp. Ex. 191°- ^*, Jos. 3^ 7^^) — here, as is generally supposed in 
the ritual of the burnt-offerings on the next morning. So 
Samuel (i S. 16^) calls on Jesse and his family to consecrate 
themselves, and himself consecrates them, that they may 
participate with him in a sacrificial meal. Some (Di. Bu. 
Peake) suppose that Job sends and summons or brings his 
children to his house, and consecrates them there ; others 
(Fried. Del.) that Job sends a priest to consecrate them in their 
own homes. B. Jacob {ZATW, 191 2, p. 278) suggests that cnp 
was synonymous with Nip and meant to invite some one (cp. 
% : see phil. n.) to make himself ritually ready for, and to come 
to, a feast ; and that what is meant in ^^ is that at the end of the 
round of secular meals in the sons' houses, Job sent and invited 
the children to a sacred meal in his own house, and that on 
the morning after this meal Job offers sacrifice against sins of 
thought (for other sins the children would not have ventured 
in their father's presence) which might have been committed 
in his own house, so compromising him. But the parallelism 
of B'np and Xip in Jl. i^^ 2^^ 4^ does not prove that the two 
vbs. were so completely synonymous that K'lp included the 
sense of invitation ; and if a meal in Job's house had been 
intended, it would probably have been more clearly indicated. 
To offer burnt-offerings\ after the manner of the patriarchs in JE 
(Gn. 8^*^ 2 2-- '^- 12 31^*), Job as the head of the family, without 
the assistance of any priest, offers sacrifice ; also in accordance 
with early custom he offers for an expiatory purpose (cp. 
2 S. 24^") burnt-offerings (cp. 42^), not the more special sin- 
offerings of later times — a want which ffi supplies. — For thein 
all, one for eac]i\ lit. according to the mtviber of the?n all; i.e. 
ten, if "sons" include the daughters (cp. Gn. 3^^, Ex. 21^ 22-", 
Jos. 17"): otherwise, seven. — Ci(7'sed\ Hebr. blessed — a euphem- 
ism or scribal correction for cursed: see phil. n. — In their 

I. 5-12.] THE PROLOGUE 9 

For Job said, " If haply my sons have sinned, and cursed God 
in their heart." So used Job to do on all the(se) days. 

/learl] unless we can adopt Jacob's sugfgestion noted above. 
Job fears sin committed by the children in their own homes; 
but so sure is he of the character of his children that even 
when they are out of his sight and control he fears only that 
they may commit some unintentional sin or sins that are stifled 
before they issue in speech or outward action. Yet such is 
Job's fear of God that he is careful to counteract the mere 
possibility of even such sins as these.— On all these days\ on 
the morrow of the last day of each week of feasting. 

6-12. The first scene in heaven : the Satan questions 
the disinterestedness of Job's religion. — The scene, though not 
explicitly defined, is, like that in which Mastema questions the 
whole-hearted devotion of Abraham to God (Jub. 17^^'-), clearly 
heaven : it is here that the " sons of the gods " present them- 
selves before (ijj?) Yahweh, who is pictured, as the prep, prob- 
ably implies, seated (on a throne) : so in a companion picture 
(i K. 22^^) Yahweh is depicted "sitting on his throne and all 
the host of heaven," which correspond to the "sons of the 
gods" here, "standing before him (V^y noj?) on his right hand 
and on his left," and ready (i K. 22"^), as here (i^^ 2'^), to go 
out (n^'"') from the divine assembly, and aflfect human affairs 
according to the will or permission of Yahweh. Cp. also Zee. 
6^ " the four winds of heaven going out from presenting them- 
selves before (^y 3^"'nno mx^'^) the Lord of the whole earth." 
Since the Satan does not report immediately and alone, but 
presents himself along with the other sons of the gods (2^), it 
may be inferred that Yahweh was conceived as holding a 
session at stated intervals for the dismission of his messengers 
to earth, and for the reception of reports from them on their 
return. — The so7is of the gods\ "the sons of God" (EV.) is 
grammatically an equally legitimate rendering, and might be 
compared with "sons of the Most High" {'i^'hv "33, Ps, 82^), 
but whether interpreted offspring of the one true God, or 
beings dependent on, but sharing the spiritual nature of the one 
true God, this rendering fails to reproduce the Hebrew con- 

lO THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 6. 

^ And there was a day when the sons of the gods came to 
present themselves before Yahweh ; and the Satan came also 

ception. " The sons of the gods" (□''n^xn •'33) are individuals 
of the class god, as "the sons of man" (oixn "'J3, i S. 26^*') 
are individuals of the class man : cp. also " the sons of the pro- 
phets," meaning members of a prophetic guild. Consequently 
the same class of beings who are called "the sons of the 
gods " (D\-|i3N(n) ':2, 2I 38^, Gn. 62 ; q^^n ^33, Ps. 29^ 89^ : cp. 
pn^X 13, Dn. 3^5) can also be called simply "gods" (D'H^X, 
Ps. 821-6: cp. d!5X (point dS^*) in Ps. 58^). The phrase is trace- 
able to a stage of thought in which Yahweh was not supreme 
or sui generis : the class of gods like that of men was numerous, 
though members ("sons") of the two classes were sharply 
distinguished in appearance (Dn. 3^^) and manner of life (Ps. 
82^*-). But within this class Yahweh, to this writer, is abso- 
lutely supreme ; Yahweh is not a man, but one of the elohim ; 
and yet not merely any one of the elohim, but that one who is 
in absolute control of all other elolmn, as also of all men and of 
the affairs of the whole world. There is as little suggestion 
here in the Prologue as in the speeches of the earlier Hebrew 
thought, that Yahweh's power and authority were limited to 
certain areas, and that other gods shared with Him the control 
and allegiance of men (cp. e.g. i S. 26^^) ; on the other hand, 
the sons of the gods, including the Satan, are completely sub- 
ordinate to Him, and act, not on their own initiative or autho- 
rity, but on His ; like Him in contrast to men they are elohim, 
or holy (15^^ 5^), but no less than men they are His servants 
(^i7-i9j_ As employed by Him in the administration of human 
affairs, these beings are termed angels (d''3X^0, ib.). ffi, there- 
fore, in rendering here 0/ ayjeXoi tov Oeov (so 2^, cp. 38'^), 
gives a substantially correct equivalent of the entire Hebrew 
phrase, though not an exact equivalent of either of the terms 
that compose it. — The Salan] here, as in Zee. 2^--, with the 
article, and therefore not yet, as it virtually has become in 
I Ch. 21^ (without the article), a proper name. But here and 
in Zee, no less than in Ch., though in these three passages 
only in the OT., the term denotes a distinct and permanent 

I. 6-7.] THE PROLOGUE 1 1 

among them. "^ And Yahweh said to the Satan, Whence 
comest thou? And the Satan answered Yahweh, and said. 

personality, who was thus designated originally in reference to 
his function of opposing or accusing (cp. €r's 8t«/3o\o9) men 
before God, before he had developed his later character (Ch., 
NT.) of tempter or instigator of men to act in opposition to 
God. The force of the word is well shown in Nu. 22-^ where 
the anerel of Yahweh becomes for the occasion a sa^an in order 
to oppose Balaam and to stay his course ; or somewhat differently 
in Ps. 109^ where opposition in the sense of accusation before a 
legal tribunal is intended (cp. v.^*' where ^\p^' is parallel to D''"I3^^ 
^JJ'Da ijy j;i): cp. also i S. 2c/, 2 S. 1923(22), I K. 5i8(*> iii*«-. 
Here the Satan opposes Job by endeavouring to overthrow his 
good standing with God (cp. the antithesis between the vb. |Dt^ 
and the phrase " to seek our good " in Ps. 382^), not as in Zee. 
by drawing Yahweh's attention to actual sins which He is 
prepared to pardon and remove, but by suggesting unworthy 
motives in a man in the outward manifestations of whose life 
even he can find no fault. See, further, on the history and 
development of the term, art. "Satan" in EBi, — Came also 
among them\ not as a being of a different class, but as himself 
one of the sons of the gods : linn is not infrequently tant- 
amount to : (one) of the number of, with others of the same 
class (see Gn. 2310 42^, Nu. 1721 26^2, i S. iqI", Ezk. 29I2). 
But as in several of the passages just cited the person or 
persons in question are peculiar or pre-eminent in the class to 
which they are referred, so is the Satan here : he is one of the 
sons of the gods, or angels, and as such subject to and under 
the control of Yahweh and incapable of acting beyond the 
terms of His permission ; but there are perhaps germs of the 
later idea of Satan, the opponent of God, dividing with Him the 
allegiance of men (Wisd, 22*), in the freedom with which he here 
moves about in the earth, so that Yahweh asks where he has 
been C^ 22), in contrast to the angels who are sent to definite 
persons and places. 

7. Whence comest thoii\ if the implication of the question 
is as just suggested, the Satan is the "vagabond among the 

I 2 THE BOOK OF JOB [I. 7-8. 

From going hither and thither in the earth, and walking to and 
fro in it. ^ And Yahweh said to the Satan, Hast thou con- 
sidered my servant Job, that there is none Hke him in the earth, 
a man perfect and upright, fearing God and avoiding wrong? 

heavenly beings " (Da.). Others find in the question a dis- 
tinction between the angels to whom superintendence of special 
nations and countries was entrusted by Yahweh (Dt. 32^ ffi, Dn. 
jQi3.20f.^ gjj._ ly^''), and the Satan whose function confined 
his energies to no fixed region of the earth, and who '' in his 
unresting service of Yahweh has been visiting all parts " of the 
world (Peake). — Fmm going hither and thither\ the vb. (mB') 
may be used of roving aimlessly or distraught (Jer. 49^, Hithp., 
and, if correctly restored there, Gn. 24*^^); but it occurs more 
frequently of movement hither and thither within a given area 
and with a definite purpose, which requires something more than 
direct passage from one point to another : so the Qal is used 
of the manna-gatherers (Nu. 11^) and the census-takers (2 S. 
24^), and the intensive Po'lel of movement in diligent search for 
information (Jer. 5\ Am. 8^2) ; so the eyes of Yahweh, moving 
hither and thither in the whole earth, put him in possession of 
complete information of all that goes on there (Zee. 4^°, 2 Ch. 
16^). It is in this sense that the vb. is used here in combina- 
tion with l55nnn, which is similarly used at times of so walking 
to and fro in a given area as to leave nothing undiscovered 
(Zee. i^^^f- : cp. G, Jos. iS^^-^). Thus the Satan, if a vagabond, 
is yet a vagabond with a purpose : he scours the earth, leaving 
no corner unvisited, that he may discover the failings of men. 

8. Of course, the Satan in his complete tour of discovery 
{^) must have come across Job ; but has he devoted his 
attention to ((i'X)^I? 2^5 Q^tr : cp. e.g. 2 S. 18^, Ex. g^i ; with ^, 
I S. 9^°, Ezk. 40*) him, and to the fact that here, at least, is a 
man against whom no accusation can be brought ? or, is it 
for that very reason that he, unlike Yahweh, has found no 
further interest in him? — That] rather vXvaw for (EV.) ; so 2^. 

There is none like him in the earth] this goes beyond ^ : 

Yahweh endorses the judgment of Job's character in the 
narrative, and, by an addition, enhances the startling nature 

I. 8-12.] THE PROLOGUE 1 3 

^ And the Satan answered Yahweh, and said, Is it for nothing 
that Job has feared God? ^° Hast not thou thyself made a 
hedge about him, and his house, and all that he hath every- 
where? the w^ork of his hands thou hast blessed, and his cattle 
hath increased in the land, ^^ But stretch forth thine hand 
now, and touch all that he hath : surely he will curse thee to 
thy face. ^- And Yahweh said unto the Satan, Behold, all that he 

of the change of fortunes that is to come : Job's piety, 
according to the narrative {^~^), had led to his being prosperous 
beyond all the children of the East ; as certified by Yahweh, it 
would justify his being the most prosperous man in the earth, 
and so, on the current theory, makes him the least likely object 
in the world of a disastrous change of fortune. 

9. The Satan admits what he must, but no more. Up till 
now, Job has feared (xT, pf., not the part., for note the order : 
cp. Dr. § 135 (^)) God, but the future may reveal even outward 
failings ; and, as it is, his piety is probably a mere quid pro quo. 
Yahweh has given a good price to the man for the life w-hich 
pleases Him so much ; and the man has had the sense not to 
imperil a good bargain by failing in his part of it. 

10. Thou thyself] {^^ for nnx ; Lex. 6ib) emphatic: the 
hedge, which surrounds and screens Job and his children and 
his possessions, has been made by none other than God Him- 
self, and for this reason must remain unbreached — unless God 
Himself can be induced to breach it, and let in destruction (cp. 
Is. 5^). — Cattle\ ^ n. Here mentioned as the principal part for 
the whole of Job's wealth. 

11. But (an emphatic adversative, see phil. nn. on 13* 33^) 
let Yahweh reverse His treatment, and Job will certainly reverse 
his conduct ; when piety no longer pays. Job will become 
defiantly profane. Yahweh may think that He has found a 
man good all through : the Satan knows better, and confidently 
challenges Yahweh to bring the matter to a test. — Touch\ 
hurtfully or destructively (3 j;j3), as ig-^ i S. 6^, and (with a 
human subj.) Gn. 26^^, Jos. 9^'-', Zee. 2^2^ ^nd (of the wind) c. 2^^ 
(RV. " smote ").—0^?'^g] lit. bless, as ^ (n.). 

12. Yahweh accepts the Satan's challenge, and on the 

14 THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 12-22. 

hath is in thy hand; only against himself stretch not forth thy 
hand. And the Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh. 

Satan's terms, except that He delegates to the Satan the work 
of destruction, instead of performing it Himself; the reservation 
that Job's person is not to be injured is within the terms of the 
challenge ; at present (ct. 2^*-) the Satan is confident that the 
destruction of Job's children and property will suffice to turn 
this pattern of piety into a profane person ; and Yahweh 
empowers him to do what he likes with all that Job possesses. 
To speak of the "rapidity and coldbloodedness" with which 
Yahweh, in accepting the challenge, gives up his favourite to 
torture, or of lack of omniscience in Yahweh, making it 
necessary for him to test Job's disinterestedness (Du.), is not 
very helpful : everything in the Prologue moves rapidly, and 
is told with few words ; nor would it have eased the situation 
to have shown Yahweh being gradually compelled to give up 
His servant to trial. That He does allow him to be tested, 
and, though righteous, to suffer, is simply the unexplained /«c/ 
of life, as the author observed it, but which the current theory 
denied. — In thy hand\ as Gn. i6^: cp. c. 8*. 

13-22. Job bereft of children and wealth. — The Satan 
uses his power to the full : in a single day Job loses every- 
thing, but he maintains the integrity of his character. With 
simple but effective art the writer heightens the impression of 
the suddenness and completeness of the calamity. The opening 
V. of the section depicts afresh the old (*) careless, happy life 
of Job's children ; and leaves us to think of Job still tranquil 
and unexpectant of evil up to the very point when the first 
messenger of ill comes (^'*). The calamities are only described 
through the mouth of the messengers ; they all happen on the 
day that has begun, as so many days before, quietly and 
happily for Job and his children ; each messenger is the sole 
survivor of the calamity he describes ; each messenger after 
the first arrives before his predecessor has completed his tale 
of woe. Within a single day all the calamities happen ; within 
a few moments Job receives the news of them. The first 
message, like the paragraph as a whole, begins (^*) with a 

1.13.] THE PROLOGUE 1 5 

13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters 
were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest 

peaceful, familiar picture of Job's cattle ploughing, then suddenly 
(1^) this picture is completely wiped out — for ever. The next two 
messages at once suggest a new calamity with their opening 
words : "the fire of heaven fell " ; " the Chalda^ans made three 
bands " : the last, like the first, begins with an old familiar 
scene — the children banqueting; but this, after the recital of 
so much calamity, only heralds the last and crowning stroke, 
and by recalling the happier days, for ever ended, only adds to 
the poignancy of this final message. The alternation of human 
beings (the Sabseans and the Chaldaeans, i^- ^'') and the elements 
of nature (the lightning and the hurricane from the desert, ^^' ^^) 
as the instruments of calamity is noticeable. The last calamity 
is obviously the greatest : the third — the loss of three thousand 
camels — more severe than the second (seven thousand sheep 
and goats) ; the second perhaps also more severe than the first 
fa thousand kine and five hundred she-asses). As the section 
opens with a picture of the old life on its sensuous side, so it 
closes with the picture of the new life, brought about by the 
calamities, on its spiritual side— Job deprived of all, naked of all 
outward belongings, as when he issued from his mother's womb, 
but maintaining his fear of God and his God-approved character. 
13. Nis sons] though Satan is the person last named, the 
writer uses the suffix in reference to the main person of the 
story. Cj : f/ie sons o//ob, a correct and obvious interpretation 
rather than a difference of text. — A day . . . in the house of their 
eldest brother] the first day of a week of banqueting (cp. *). 
If every day of the year was a banqueting day with Job's 
children, the day of calamity is a day on which Job had offered 
expiatory sacrifices for the preceding week (^), and the day may 
be specified so as to bring Job's godliness and his calamity into 
the closest connection (Dav.), or so as to prevent the calamity 
being attributed to unexpiated sins of Job or his children (Du. 
Peake). If, however, the periods of banqueting were separated 
from one another by intervals, the point is that the Satan chose 
the first opportunity, when all the children were gatherea mto 

1 6 THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 13-15. 

brother: ^* and a messeng-er came to Job, and said, The oxen 
were plowing, and the asses were feeding beside them : ^^ and 

one house, to use the authority given him to destroy them by 
one fell blow (so Bu.). An interval between the Satan's 
departure from heaven and his destructive activity on earth is 
rather suggested by the insertion of the clause, And there was a 
day (cp. ^ 2^) : ct. 2", where we have, " he went out and smote," 
without any such intervening clause. 

14. Were plowlng\ the season is winter. — The asses\ fem., 
as in ^: see n. there. 

15. Shcha\ in 6'^ the travelling companies of Sheba are 
closely associated in synonymous parallelism with the caravans of 
Tema. Sheba (^^u') is the name of the South Arabian (cp. Gn. 
10-^ J) people whose capital was Marib, about 45 miles east 
of San'a, and about 1200 miles south of Jerusalem. The 
Sabaean inscriptions, discovered and deciphered within the last 
century, record many kings of Sab'a (xab' = Heb. Sheba N3w') and 
the buildings of these kings and others in later times continued 
to bear witness to the wealth and power of ancient Sheba. The 
remoteness of Sheba, its trade in frankincense, gold, and pre- 
cious stones, and its wealth, are the subjects of most of the 
OT. references (i K. loi^-, Is. 60*, Jer. 62°, Ezk. 2722, Jl. 48, Ps. 
^^210.15 — a.11, with the possible exception of i K. lo^*^-, as late as 
or later than the end of the 7th cent. B.C.). The association 
with Dedan in Gn. 10'^ 25^, Ezk. 38^^, and with Tema (c. 350 
miles south of Jerusalem and 230 miles north of Medina) in 6^^, 
and the reference to Saba in inscriptions of Sargon (Gen. in- 
scription 1. 32: Rogers, CP, p. 332), and in the Minaean 
inscription cited below, have been thought to point either to a 
northern home of Sheba prior to their settlement in southern 
Arabia, or to the existence of trading stations of the South 
Arabian Sheba in northern Arabia and "in the neighbourhood 
of Edom " (Dr.). The present is certainly the only passage in 
the OT. which represents Sheba as raiders or, as some would 
put it more definitely, as "Bedouin of the northern desert" 
(Skinner. Genesis, p. 203); but a Minaean inscription (Gl. 1155) 
records the thanks of the donors to 'Athtar of Kabd for the 

1.15-17.] THE PROLOGUE 1 7 

Sheba fell (upon them), and took tluni, and the young- men they 
smote with the sword ; and I only have escaped alone to tell 
thee. 1^ This one was still speakings, when another came and 
said, The fire of God fell from heaven, and burnt up the sheep 
and goats, and the young men, and consumed them ; and I only 
have escaped alone to tell thee. ^^ This one was yet speaking, 
when another came and said, Kasdim formed (themselves into) 
three companies, and made a raid upon the camels, and took 
them, and the young men they smote with the sword ; and I 
only have escaped alone to tell thee. ^^ This one was yet speak- 
ing, when another came and said, Thy sons and thy daughters 
were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house : 

deliverance from Sab'a of their caravan with their camels and 
possessions, on its return from Msr (Egypt?), and perhaps 
during its passage through northern Arabia. According to one 
theory (Glaser) this inscription dates from c. iioo B.C. ; accord- 
ing to another and more probable theory (Hartmann), however, 
the inscription refers to the Medes {i.e. the Persians) in Egypt, 
and accordingly dates from the time of Cambyses [c. 525 b.c). 
On Sheba, see, further, Ed. Glaser, Skizze der Gesch. u. Geog. 
Arabiens, ii. sggff. ; Hartmann, D. islamische Orient, ii. i3off. ; 
D. S. Margoliouth, Sheba, in DB. — The young men] i.e. the 
servants (onyi as Nu. 222- and often) in charge of the cattle : 
of these the messenger alone escapes. 

16. The fire of God\ i.e. lightning, but lightning of extra- 
ordinary destructiveness, since it burns up and consumes the 
whole of Job's large flocks and all the shepherds with them, 
except only the messenger that escapes. The fire of God is on 
this occasion directed by the Satan : Yahweh having permitted 
the end, the destruction of Job's possessions {^^), permits the 
use of the means. 

17. Kasdim] or the Kasdim (see phil. n.). The term is 
that commonly rendered Chaldseans ; but the Chaldeeans, who 
formed the nucleus of Nebuchadnezzar's army and empire, 
would appear here even more strangely than in 2 K. 24^, 
where we read of marauding "bands of Kasdim, and bands of 
Aram (? read Edom), and bands of Moab, and bands of the 


1 8 THE BOOK OF JOB [l. 17-20. 

^^ and, behold, a great wind came (sweeping-) across the 
wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell 
in upon the young men, and they died ; and I only have escaped 
alone to tell thee. -° And Job rose up, and rent his robe, and 

sons of Ammon," let loose on Judah to destroy it. In both 
these passages the Kasdim are rather (Aramaean : cp. Gn. 22^2 
with Skinner's n. there) nomads, whether ultimately connected 
with the Kasdim (Chaldaeans) of Babylonia or not : cp. VVi. 
AOF ii. 250 ff. Che. {EBi. 968, 2469) substitutes Kushim for 
Kasdim. These marauders, whoever they were, formed into 
three companies so as to attack from three sides, and so the 
more easily to prevent the escape of the camels. 

19. The wilderness] The great desert stretching across 
from the eastern confines of Palestine to the Euphrates valley. 
The violence or destructiveness of the east wind (the sirocco, 
152 27^^), or, as it is here called, the wind from the other (i.e. 
eastern) side of the ivildertiess, is elsewhere referred to : see 
Hos. 13^^, Jer. 4^^ 18^^; here the wind is a whirlwind which 
strikes all four corners of the house. — The young fnen] Job's 
children, both sons and daughters (cp. 29^), together with their 
attendants: see phil. n. 

20. Job has received the messengers seated (cp. i S. 4^^, 
2 S. i8-^*-) : their messages have followed one another without 
a moment's interval, so stunning Job that he does not in- 
terrupt them ; but when the last has spoken he rises from 
his seat and, still apparently without spoken comment on 
the news, rends in a moment his outer garment in token 
of his sudden distress (cp. 2 S. 13^^), and then performs the 
customary mourning rite of shaving the head so as to make 
it bald (cp. Am. 8^^, Is. 152 22^2, Jer. 16^). The latter rite 
cannot have been momentary ; Job must have gone himself, or 
sent another, in search of the necessary instrument. Conse- 
quently ««fl'/!^/^///'<? Me ^r£»//7/^/ does not describe an immediate 
half-involuntary physical reaction against the distressing news 
(Di. : cp. I S. 282''), but an act of reverential obeisance or wor- 
ship; so, e.g., with man as the obj. and, as here, followed by 
7Vorship, in 2 S. i^ 9" 14*, Ru. 2^^, with God as obj. 2 Ch. 20^^ 

1.20-21.] THE PROLOGUE 1 9 

shaved his head, and lie fell on the ground, and worshipped, 
and said, 

2i Naked came I forth from my mother's womb, 
And naked shall I return thither : 
Yahweh g"ave, and Yahweh hath taken away ; 
Blessed be the name of Yahweh. 

cp. Jos. 5^*. The implied object of obeisance is Yahweh : but 
what follows is not a prayer to Him (for He is referred to 
in the 3rd pers.), but a confession in the presence of the 
messengers of Job's entire dependence on God, and of his 
acquiescence in His dealings with him. — His robe] the m^zl (of 
Jb. 29^*: of the friends, 2^^) was the outer garment worn above 
the tunic — especially the outer garment of men of position ; so 
of Jonathan, i S. 18^; of Saul, i S. 24^; of Samuel, i S. 28^*; 
of the high priest, e.g: Ex. 28^^ ; of Ezra, Ezr. 9^. See, further, 
EBt. 2933 n. 

21. Cp. Gn. 3^9, Ec. 5^*(i5^ i Ti. 6^. Owning nothing Job 
(like all men) came into life, carrying nothing with him he will 
leave it and descend to Sheol ; life and all that it had brought 
him (2'-) were the gift of Yahweh ; at death at latest he must 
have left all these gifts behind — Yahweh who had given would 
then have taken them away ; He has done so earlier, as He had 
an absolute right to do ; nevertheless Job does not curse, as 
the Satan had expected, but blesses the name of Yahweh. To 
ancient Hebrew thought the state after death was not identical 
with that before birth ; but, as compared with the rich activity 
of life on earth, the thin and unsubstantial life after death 
in Sheol was not very different from the absence of life that 
preceded birth ; so Job in 313-16 plays on the similarity of 
the two states ; and so here, as elsewhere, expressions that, 
strictly speaking, would imply identity of the states before 
birth and after death are employed, without that precise im- 
plication being intended by the writer. With thither.^ cp. there 
in 31^- ^9 ; with return, cp. 30^2, Ps. (^^. To infer from thither 
that my ?nothe?^s womb means the womb of mother earth (cp. 
Ps. 139^^) is mistaken (cp. Noldeke in Archiv f. Relig-ions- 
geschichtey viii. 161-166) ; and had the writer intended his 

20 THE BOOK OF JOB I. 21-11. 1-3. 

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God with unworthi- 

II. ^ And there was a day when the sons of the gods came 
to present themselves before Yahweh ; and the Satan came 
also among them. 2 ^nd Yahweh said to the Satan, Whence 
comest thou? And the Satan answered Yahweh and said, 
From going hither and thither in the earth, and walking to 
and fro in it. ^ And Yahweh said to the Satan, Hast thou 
considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the 

mother's womb in the first line, and the womb of mother earth 
in the second, he would doubtless have expressed the idea as 
clearly as Ben Sirach (40^). In this saying Job uses the name 
Yahweh ; for the rest, in the Prologue as in the Dialogue, 
the human speakers use the term God (i5-i6 a^-ioj, though the 
narrative regularly employs Yahweh ; see Introd. 

22. In all this] viz. all that happened, or that Job had 
thought or done, or perhaps in spite of all this (2 as Is. g^o). 
Job, true to his character, avoided sin. — Unworthiness] see 
phil. n. 

II. 1-6. The second scene in heaven closely resembles the 
first, and is largely described in identical language : here as 
there the sons of the gods with the Satan among them come 
before Yahweh : ^ Yahweh puts the same question to the Satan, 
and receives the same answer, 2 — but the same answer under 
different conditions : the Satan avoids reporting the effect of 
the permission given to him at the last assembly. Yahweh 
repeats His second question, ^ but now with an addition, 
bringing out, what the Satan has not been ready to volunteer, 
that Job's character has stood the strain of calamity, and that 
the Satan's insinuation against it had not been justified. Thus 
challenged, the Satan, with the same assurance as before, 
claims that it is only necessary to attack Job's own person, to 
plague him with disease, in order to make him curse God,*- ^. 
Yahweh permits the Satan to try the further experiment, and 
he departs, ^- ''^. 

I. Amo7ig thetn] "^ -^ to present himself be/ore Yahweh: see 
phil. n. 2. = 1^. 3a. = i^. 

II. 3-4.] THE PROLOGUE 2 1 

earth, a man perfect and upright, fearing God and avoiding 
wrong-? and he still holds fast his integrity, and yet thou hast 
enticed me against him to destroy him without cause. * And 
the Satan answered Yahweh, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all 
that a man hath will he give for his life. ^ But stretch forth 

3b. And he still holds fast . . . and yet, etc.] or, perhaps, 
. . . and so in vain hast thou enticed me to destroy him : see 
phil. n. — Integrity] or, perfectiofi ; see n. on perfect in i^, and 
on integrity in 27^. — Destroy] the same vb. (y^a) with a similar 
sense occurs in 10^: cp. also 8^^ 372**, Is. 3^^ 19^, 2 S. 20^^'-. — 
Without cause] cp. 9^'^ in a similar connection ; so also i S. 19^ 
and often. For the sense, in vain, see Pr. i^''', Mai. i^". 

4. Skin for skin] "the meaning apparently is: a man will 
sacrifice one part of his body to save another, an arm, for instance, 
to save his head, and he will similarly give all that he has to save 
his life: Job's resignation (i^^), therefore, is not disinterested: 
it is still not shown that he serves God 'for naught' (i®)"; so 
Dr. following ^T Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Del. The objection has been 
raised to this that "iiy does not denote a member of the body. 
Numerous other interpretations of the ^hrdise skin for skin have 
been offered : it was probably a proverbial saying, and, as such, 
to those who were familiar with it, it would have enforced the 
following clause ; to us its origin and associations are unknown, 
and its meaning can only roughly be determined by what 
follows. On the force of the prep., see phil. n. Among other 
interpretations that have been offered, there may be mentioned : 
(i) Leave Job's skin unbroken, and he will so leave you yours 
(Olsh.) : if this were correct, the language of the Satan would 
indeed be " rather vulgar " (Peake : cp. Du.) — indeed to Del. 
this seemed too indecent even for the Devil ; otherwise the 
langxiage, as in i^-^°, is cynical, but hardly vulgar; (2) like for 
tike a man readily gives up, how much more his outward 
possessions for life and health (Ew. Di.); (3) the skin of an 
animal or of his children a man gives up to save his own : so 
Ros. Hupf. Da. Du., who think the proverb arose in circles in 
which skins were an important article of exchange. Similarly 
Dhorme {RB, 1914, 128 f.), who, however, suggests that the 

2 2 THE BOOK OF JOB [ll. 4-8. 

thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, surely he 
will curse thee to thy face. ^ And Yahweh said to the Satan, 
Behold, he is in thy hand ; only preserve his life. 

"^ And the Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh, 
and smote Job with malig-nant ulcers from the sole of his foot 

skin was not itself the unit of exchang-e, but stands — the part 
for the whole — for what was, viz., the animal ; " skin for skin," 
therefore, means " animal for animal," i.e. " money (cp. pectmia 
from ppcus) for money " ; (4) one skin surrounds another ; a man 
can gfive up one skin, i.e. much, and yet have another, i.e. 
something-, left: ag^ainst Di.'s objection that the figure of men 
having- two skins is untrue, Bu. appeals to the Arabic use 
of baiarat for the outer ; ^adamat for the inner skin ; (5) see 
on v.^ end. 

5. Beneath the skin lie bone and flesh ; let Yahweh smite 
Job's body, and that, too, more than skin-deep, with disease. 
For the bon:s as the seat of disease, see, e.g.., La. i^^; for the 
flesh. Is. 10^^. 

6. As before (i^^), Yahweh meets the Satan's wish to the 
lull, and g-ives him permission to do all that he has asserted 
will suffice to show up Job. Before, as he had then asked. 
Job's possessions, now Job's body is put in his power; the only 
limitation imposed this time is that Job must not be killed 
outrig-ht. The limitation is necessary in order to allow of the 
experiment being- carried throug-h ; but the use of the same 
word 1C^'D3, his sozil or life., at the end of ^ and ^ is awkward, 
and is perhaps due to the first occurrence of the word belonging 
to the proverb cited by the Satan, which most have limited to 
"skin for skin"; in this case it would be tempting to read 
1 1"iiy for •) iiy, and render (another) skin for {i.e. to save) his 
own skin, yea, all that he hath will a man give for {i.e. to save) 
his life, iiiy and itJ'a: thus being parallel expressions. 

7-8. Job smitten with malignant disease. — The Satan 
this time immediately (ct. 1^^) works out his will on Job, and 
the scene in heaven dissolves into the picture of Job suddenly 
smitten with a malignant and loathsome disease that leaves no 
corner of his body sound. The disease is not named, but here 

II. 7-8.] THE I'ROLOGUE 23 

a single prominent symptom, and elsewhere in the book many 
other symptoms are indicated. These have commonly been 
supposed to indicate elephantiasis, a disease so named from the 
swelling of the limbs and blackening of the skin which dis- 
figured the sufferer, so that his limbs and skin resemble those 
of an elephant. The term pn:^' occurs also, qualified as here by 
the adj. yi, in Dt. 28^^, qualified by the gen. " of Egypt " in Dt. 
28-'^, and without an adj. in 2 K. 26' = Is. 38'-^ (of Hezekiah's 
sickness, which was treated with a fig-plaister), in the phrase 
nronaai mwxn ma nynynx pntr used of the Egyptian plague in 
Ex. 9^^^, and lastly, in the law of leprosy in Lv. 1318-20.23!^ 
It is not clear that in all these passages pn:^ indicates the same 
disease: Dr. Macalister, for example [DB iii. 229 f.), holds 
that the Egyptian plague may have been small-pox, Hezekiah's 
sickness (bubonic) plague, and Job's the Oriental sore ; the last 
suggestion Dr. Masterman [PEFQuSt, 1918, p. 168) finds 
highly improbable, since the Oriental sore is "commonly a 
single lesion and never a general eruption " ; Job's disease 
was rather *'a very extensive erythema." The term sh^hift, 
from a root which in Arabic (sahuna) means to be hot, inflamed, 
and in Aram, (sh'^han) to he warm, appears to have denoted 
inflamed eruptions of various kinds, and here, as the next v. 
suggests, such an eruption as discharges purulent matter and 
produces itching; the discharge and the subsequent crusting 
over of these eruptions are referred to in 7^. Other symptoms 
of Job's disease are the maggots bred in the ulcers (7^), the 
fetid breath (19^^^), the corrosion of the bones (30^'^), the blacken- 
ing and falling off of the skin (30^*^), feelings of terror (3^5 6**^), 
and by night terrifying dreams and nightmares (7^* n. ; cp. 7*). 
There are also many allusions to intensity of pain and to 
groanings and cryings out ; and 7^^ is commonly taken to refer 
to the feeling of strangulation that is a symptom of elephanti- 
asis, and 2^^ to the disfigurement that is so prominent a 
characteristic of that disease. See, further, for a discussion of 
the symptoms and of the diseases to which they have been 
considered to point, Dr. on Dt. 28-^- ^^ and Ex. 9^ ; EBi. articles 
Boil and Leprosy; DB'\\\. 329 f.: the commentaries on this 
passage of Stickel, Del. Di., and the references there given. The 

24 THE BOOK OF JOB [II. 7 8. 

to the crown of his head. ^ And he took for himself a potsherd 
to scrape himself with, as he sat among the ashes. 

writer may or may not have had a single disease in mind 
throughout ; but, in any case, we must beware of extending to 
Job's case irrelevant symptoms of the disease : for example, 
elephantiasis develops slowly, and often lasts some years before 
death ensues ; but the narrative almost certainly intends us to 
understand that Job was immediately smitten with intensely pain- 
ful and loathsome symptoms, attacking every part of his body, 
and, as the discussion proceeds, death does not appear far off. 

8. Job already, when the disease smites him, sitting among 
the ashes, as a sign of mourning (cp. 42^, Jon. 3^, Is. 58^), 
additional to those mentioned in i^^, takes up a potsherd lying 
there and uses it to allay the intolerable itching caused by the 
disease. So taken, ^ is a circumstantial clause of a normal and 
very frequent type (Dr. § 160). The v. has also been trans- 
lated : And Job took for himself a potsherd to scrape himself 
•with. And (as) he was sitting among the ashes, ^ his wife said 
to him, and, were this correct — though it would naturally be 
expressed by idx m'ki'Xl, or the like, instead of loxni (cp. e.g. 
ji8b. 19 ^ri(j j)j.^ gg 165-169) — Job first retired to the ashes after 
being smitten with disease, whether as a further means of 
allaying the itching [DB iii. 329), or because the ash-heap or 
hill was the proper place for lepers. In the latter case certainly 
the ashes would be the mound of burnt dung lying outside the 
town ((fS: T779 KOirpla<i e^co ri](i TroXeco?). Still a conspicuous 
feature of the Hauran towns and villages, such a mound is now 
termed mesbele, and is vividly described by Wetzst. (in Del.): 
"The dung ... is carried in baskets in a dry state to that 
place outside the village, and there generally it is burnt once 
a month. . . . The ashes remain. ... If a place has been 
inhabited for centuries, the mezhele attains a height far greater 
than that of the place itself. The rains of winter reduce the 
layers of ashes to a compact mass, and gradually convert the 
m.ezbele into a solid hill of earth. . . . The inezbele serves 
the inhabitants of the place as a watch-tower, and on sultry 
evenings as a place of concourse, for on this height there is a 

II. 8-10.] THE PROLOGUE 25 

^ Then his wife said to him, Art thou still holding- fast thine 
integrity? curse God, and die. ^^ And he said to her, As one 
of the impious women wilt thou speak ? shall we receive ^ood 

breath of air. . . . There lies the outcast who, smitten by 
loathsome disease, is no longer admitted to the dwelling-s of 
men. . . . There lie the dogs of the village, gnawing perhaps 
some fallen carcase, such as is often thrown there." 

9, 10. Job's wife, like Adam's (Gn. 3), becomes, even if 
unwittingly, " diaboli adiutrix " (Aug.); subtle psychological 
analyses, however, whether to heighten or diminish her weak- 
ness, are probably as foreign to the author's intention as the 
lengthy harangue attributed to her by ffi, the translator, 
"feeling, no doubt, nature and propriety outraged, that a 
woman should in such circumstances say so little " (Da.) as 
in ^. Her terse question serves to bring out the uniqueness 
of Job's character : many others of more ordinary character 
might well have failed at this point (cp. Is. 8^^ Rev. 16^^) : Job 
stands fast. Once again, it is best to think of the wife's 
question as following, not long (fflr), but immediately after the 
disease has attacked Job ; the symptoms hold out no hope of 
alleviation and recovery ; let Job therefore curse God and take 
the penalty, death (i K. 21^^, Lv. 2^^'^^-; cp. Ex. 22^7(28)^, as 
preferable (cp. 7^^) to life under present conditions. — Integrity^ 
see n. on ^. 

10. Job rejects the impious advice, yet in terms suggesting 
that his wife may have offered it unthinkingly, not fully realiz- 
ing its enormity. Her speech is, in fact, nothing less than 
impious ; and, if spoken intentionally, she herself must be an 
impious woman. But Job neither says directly that she has 
spoken impiously, nor that she is an impious woman : he rather 
implies that she has spoken, under momentary stress, as any 
one of a class to which she did not normally belong : cp. 
similar locutions in 2 S. 3*^ i3^^> Jg- 16^^ (Samson will become 
again what he had not been, like one of mankind, i.e. like any 
ordinary- man). — Inipious\ the Heb. nnblial (30^, 2 S. 3-^^ 13^^, 
Pr. I'f-'^ 30^-, Jer. 17", Ezk. 13^, with the references cited 
below) does not mean, though it is often so rendered in EV., 

26 THE BOOK OF JOB [II. 10-13. 

from God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job sinned 
not with his lips. 

foolish or fool; for "the fault of the nabhal was not weakness 
of reason but moral and relig-lous insensibility, an invincible 
lack of sense or perception, for the claims of either God or man. 
The term is thus applied to Israel unappreciative of Jehovah's 
benefits (Dt. 32*^), to the heathen (v.21, Ps. 7418- 22), to the 
man that cannot perceive that there is a God (Ps. 14^). Isaiah 
states explicitly what he understands by the ndbkdl : he con- 
trasts him (32^) with the ' noble ' or ' liberal ' man, and 
adds (v.*^), ' For the senseless man speaketh senselessness, and 
his heart worketh naughtiness, to practise profaneness, and to 
utter error against Jehovah, and to make empty the soul of the 
hungry, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail ' ; the 
description is that of a man who is at once irreligious and 
churlish (cp. r S. 25^5). . . . The corresponding subst. [n^33] .f^w^e- 
lessness is used of acts of profanity (Jos. 7^^), churlishness 
(i S. 2525), and immorality (Gn. 34^, Dt. 22^1, 2 S. 13^2. ^nd 
elsewhere)" — Dr. Parallel Psalter, p. 457. — Will thou speak] 
or canst thou speak (cp. Dr. § 39), as you have done just now, 
or ovghtest thou to have spoken (cp. 10^^ with phil. n., 2 S. 3^^) 
are better renderings than thou speakest, for the idea is cer- 
tainly not, thou speakest habitually and so now also impiously. 
Possibly (see phil. n.) the text originally had a pf. tense: As 
one of the impious women hast thou spoken. — Job sinned not with 
his lips\ did not speak sinfully as the Satan (^) had been con- 
fident that he would. There is no emphasis on " with his 
lips," and there is no implication that Job sinned otherwise 
than with his lips, viz. in his heart {Baba Bathra, i6a) : Ehrlich 
well cites the parallel phrase not to sin withmy tongue in Ps. 39^. 
II-13. Job's three friends come from their several coun- 
tries to comfort Job. — It is clearly implied that some time 
elapsed between Job's last calamity (^-loj 2s\^ the arrival of 
his friends : for first the news has to reach each of them in their 
several homes, which lay some distance from one another; 
then, as nyVI implies, they communicated with one another and 
fixed on a rendezvous from which they should proceed in com- 

II. 11-12.] THE PROLOGUE 27 

11 And the three friends of Job heard of all this evil that had 
come upon him. And they came each from his own place — 
Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shubite, and Sophar the 
Na'amathite. So they met together at the place agreed upon 
to come to show their grief for him and to comfort him. 

'2 And they lifted up their eyes afar off, and they did not 
recognize him. And they lifted up their voice, and wept : and 
they rent each his robe, and tossed dust upon their heads 
towards heaven. ^^ And they sat down with him on the ground 

pany to Job's home, and then the journey itself must have taken 
some time. With this implication of the Prologue allusions in 
the speeches agree ; for in 7^ Job speaks of months of pain 
already past: cp. 7* 30^^^- -^ and, indeed, the entire tenour of c. 
30 and 19^- ^~'-''. 

11. Place] in the sense of home or country : cp. Nu. 24^^-25. 
— Eliphaz the Temanite, etc.] on the names of the friends and 
their homes, see Introduction. — Teman lay in Edom, and was 
proverbial for its wisdom (Jer. 49'^) ; Shuah was a tribe belong- 
ing to the "East" (Gn. 25-^); Sophar's home is quite un- 
certain. — They met together, etc.] for the vb., cp. Am. 3^, Neh. 
62-1°, Jos. 11^ (of allied kings meeting at a fixed place for the 
opening of a campaign), Ps. 48^. — To show their grief] from the 
primary physical sense to move to arid fro (i K. 14^^, Jer. 18^^), 
the vb. (113) seems to have come to mean to make gestures (of 
grief) ; cp. Jer. 22!*^, weep not, nor make gestures (of grief) for 
him ; and then, with a weakening or loss of the physical sense, 
to manifest grief , to solace (cp. the noun in 16^), to commiserate'. 
so, e.g., Jer. 15^ 48^^ and coupled (as here), or in parallelism 
with the vb. on:, 42", Is. si^^, Ps. 69^1, Nah. 3^. 

12. Condensed. The friends catch sight of Job, a con- 
spicuous object on the lofty ash-mound outside the city (S), 
while they are still some distance away. When they draw 
near enough to discern his features, they find them marred 
by disease beyond recognition (cp. Is. 52^'*) ; when, in spite of 
this, they know that it really is Job, they break out into weeping, 
and toss quantities (see phil. n.) of dust on their head in token 
of distress (cp. Jos. f, i S. 4^^ 2 S. 13^^ La. 2^ Ezk. 273°). 


for seven days and seven nights : but none spoke a word to 
him, for they saw that the pain was very great. 

13. For a whole week the friends show their sympathy by 
sharing with Job his seat on the ash-mound ; but, overwhehned 
by the greatness of his suffering, they speak no word : even at 
the end of the period, it is not they but Job who breaks the 
silence.— 77^^ pain] EV. "grief," but probably with the mean- 
ing of "pain": cp. Shakespeare's "grief of a wound," see 
Dr.'s n. Here physical pain is intended by the noun 3x3, as 
most obviously by the vb. in 14^2, Gn. 34^^ : cp. also Jb. 5I8, 
Ezk. 282-1. 

III. In the first moments and days of his troubles, Job still 
remembered and praised God for the happiness of his former 
life (I'l 2^0): God still filled his mind. But months have now 
passed (see on 2^'^-'^^) ; and his misery is already of long stand- 
ing. How great that misery is the advent of his friends seven 
days ago, and their attitude since, have but served to make 
clearer ; they came to express their grief in words, but having 
found Job's calamities beyond the power of words to express or 
mitigate, they have kept silence. Job does not reproach them 
for this, regarding their silence as perhaps the best substitute 
for a comfort (cp. 21 2) which circumstances do not allow them 
to give him. But for the time being they are almost beyond 
his thought or attention : so, too, has God become. Thus when, 
in the presence of his friends, he breaks the long silence, it is 
in a speech which, like cc. 29-31, but unlike those that inter- 
vene, is addressed neither to his friends nor to God. He is 
absorbed with two thoughts — his misery and the wherefore of 
it : his misery, though so relatively recent, has blotted out 
all sense of former happiness, and so completely obsesses him 
that his life from the very day of his birth now seems to him 
to have been mere wretchedness and pain (^-^o) : his misery is 
so intense that it needs no foil of happier times remembered 
(cp. 29) to set it off: it is such that Sheol itself is by com- 
parison with it to be longed for or welcomed (ii-^"). Why, 
then, is life thrust upon him and others wretched like himself? 
(i9-26j_ I,-, ^\^Q lasj. section the wider question is put first (20-22^^ 

ni.] JOB 29 

III. ^ After this Job opened his mouth, and cursed his day. 
2 And Job answered and said : 

and is followed by the particular (23-26^. ^^,j^y must the 
wretched live, and why Job in particular ? This order flows 
naturally out of the preceding section in which Job, expressing- 
his longing for death, has had occasion to refer to the different 
classes who meet in the realm of death — princes, masters, the 
great, whose life raises no wherefore ? and the toil-worn, petty, 
servile folk, whose life is intolerable. Why are these last born 
at all ? Thus Job, though absorbed with his own misery and 
the mystery of it, is not so absorbed as to regard his fate as 
singular ; rather has his own trouble deepened his fellow-feeling 
with the wretched : in the days of his prosperity he had been 
anything but unsympathetic towards them, for he had helped 
the victims of misfortune (4^^) ; but in those days their lot had 
not presented to him a problem, now it does (cp. 4^). Why 
are there weak, stumbling, miserable men to be helped and 
comforted ? Why are men born to grow up to such conditions 
as these ? This question must ultimately raise that of God's 
responsibility : what does God mean by creating and maintain- 
ing such lives ? But in this first speech Job does not clearly 
and directly raise the question in this form, though God may 
perhaps be the unnamed subject in ^^, and in 2^*^ the one place 
in the chapter in which God is mentioned, it is at least hinted 
that (but ct. the explicitness of 10^^) He is the source of Job's 
troubles, and of the moral perplexities which they occasion ; 
but, for the most part, it is the bare fact of misery, and the 
question whether such misery, however caused or to whatso- 
ever due, ought to be, that are considered. Just as God is 
kept at least somewhat in the background, so also is any moral 
distinction in men of differing fortunes : not here or yet is the 
question clearly formulated, why do the righteous live miserably ? 
It is the wider question that is put : Why are men allowed to 
be wretched''' Why are they born at all, if to live is to suffer? 
V.^ (prose) connects the prose Prologue (cc. 1-2) with the 
speech (poetry), in which Job opens the succession of speeches 
(poetry) of himself and his friends extending down to c. 31. 

30 THE BOOK OF JOB |III. 1-10. 

v.- is the usual formula introducing a speech : so 4^ 6\ 

1. Day] i.e. birthday, which is elsewhere otherwise ex- 
pressed (v,3, Gn. 4020, Jer, 20^*, Ec. 7^). 

2. Answered] as often, not of reply to any previous re- 
marks, but of beginning- to speak as an occasion required [Lex. 
773«. 2). 

3-IO. Job curses the day (^*) of his birth (cp. Jer. 2o^*~^^), 
and the night of his conception (^^ |^, not Ct), praying that they 
may both be blotted out of existence. Personifying the day 
and night in question, he treats them as possessing independent 
and continuous existence, so that they have hitherto reappeared 
every year : his wish is that they may now cease to exist, and 
henceforward appear no more. 

The verse division of Jll, followed by RV., in this opening section of the 
poem, gives four tristichs (''• ^- "• '^) and four distichs — an extraordinary 
proportion of the former, even though we do not with Bi. Du. rule out the 
possibility of tristichs. The tristichs of ''•^ could be most easily removed, and 
distichs restored, by transposing 4^- <^. Bi.' assumes the loss of a line after 
**, unites ^'^ with ^* (omitting " that night " in ^^), and expands *** into a distich. 
Du. transfers ^^ to follow ^ : this yields a good distich, and improves rather 
than spoils^; of^-^ like Bi., he makes three distichs; and certainly^"-'' 
would stand well as a complete distich, and ^^- " better by itself than tacked 
on to ^* ; moreover, ^''- ^* would form a good distich except that the casus 
pendens at the beginning of the second line is not very natural ; on the other 
hand, if we simply omit "that night " in ^% with Bi. Du., the line is reduced 
to two stresses, though, by reading inn|Ti for 'p% Bi. is able to satisfy his 
system. It must, however, also be observed that, as it stands, ®* is over 
long (four stresses). On the whole, the tristichs remain suspicious, even 
though no attempt hitherto made to remove them is beyond criticism : the 
same may be said of " that night " in ®, and also of " Lo, that night " in ''. 
It has sometimes been claimed on the basis of |tj (for variations in Cr, see 
below) that the special curse on the 7iight of conception (S-iO) is twice as 
long as that on the day of birth (^- ^), and the reason for this has been very 
artificially found, and against the standpoint of the context, in the fact 
that it was the night of conception which properly gave Job being. The 
quatrain theorj' of Bi. and Du. leads them to obscure the really rather 
obvious and effective articulation of the passage, since they are bound to 
unite ■»" (Du. + »'') with » and (Du.)^^. c ^^ith i"^. As a matter of fact, in 
a single opening distich (*) the writer defines the day and night he has in 
view, and in a single closing distich ('") gives the reason for his curse ; 
what lies between amplifies the single word of malediction (n3N') in *'. 
Had the writer really been bound by a system of quatrains he could 
easily, and we must believe would, have expended ^* '"each into a quatriaii. 

m. 3.] JOB 31 

3 Perish the day wherein I was born ! 

And the night which said, A man is conceived ! 

3. And the night which said] The night is personified, and 
so able to bear witness to what had happened in it : the poet 
even, if |^ be right, endows it with the faculty of knowing 
what no human being could know, the sex of the child at the 
moment of conception. — A man is conceived] (5 Behold a male ! 
(see phil. n.) — referring to Job's birth. If this reading is 
correct, the poet will first use day in its broader and more 
general sense, and then in the parallel clause specify the 
particular part of the "day" meant by him, viz. the first half 
of the wx^dTjfxepov. — Thus, whereas according to %] the night 
of conception as well as the day of birth is cursed, according 
to (& the day of birth is the sole object of the malediction. 
"These objections have been urged against ft| (Be. Du.) : 
(i) in ^ only Job's birthday is mentioned as having been cursed 
by him ; (2) in the sequel it is only this day that he curses 
(notice especially "^^^ ^^^) ; (3) he is unlikely to have spoken of 
the same night as both the time of conception and (^- '^) the 
time of birth ; (4) 123 is a poet, word for vir adidtus. Job was 
neither born nor conceived as a naj ; (5) Jer. (20^*"^^) curses 
only the day of his birth, and uses the term "iDf, male (^^). On 
the other hand, (i) ^ in any case does not summarize the whole 
ch. : if it does not summarize the whole, it need not mention 
more than the first and most prominent part of it ; (2) and (3) 
it is quite possible that ^"^° refer to the night of conception ; 
and even if they do not, a glance (^^) at the time of conception 
is very natural and fitting in Job's position ; (4) Job is 
speaking as a poet, not as a physiologist ; and he may well use 
the term man (cp. avdpco7ro<i, John i6'^^), 'looking at what he 
essentially is, not at the stage of development he has reached ' 
(Pe.). Even, however, though n^J be still deemed inap- 
propriate, "iDJ might be accepted without n:n ; (5) Vvhatever 
be the original, the terms used by Jer. do not decide those 
which may have been used by Job. On the whole, though (S 
may be right, ^ is not necessarily wrong." In addition to the 
considerations thus carefully balanced by Dr. there is yet 

32 THE BOOK OF JOB [ill. 3-5. 

* That day — let it be darkness ! 

Let not God inquire after it from above ! 

Neither let the light shine upon it ! 
^ Let darkness and black g-loom claim it ! 

Let a cloud dwell upon it ! 

Let the blacknesses of the day terrify it ! 

another that weighs heavily in favour of ffi : Job's quarrel is 
not with his conception, but with his birth, with the fact that 
he had issued from the womb living into the world with its life 
of trouble and pain ; to have been conceived, yet not to have 
been born, is indeed one of the two alternative fates — the silence 
of the womb or the silence of Sheol — that he desires ; if his 
mother had miscarried, or he had been still-born, all would 
still, even in spite of his conception, have been well with him 

(16-12; cp. IolS-19). 

4.-5. If it is too much for Job to expect his birthday to be 
blotted out of the year (^), may it at least, when it comes 
round, be a day of blackness, uncared for by God, unreached by 
His light, aftVighted by appalling, preternatural obscurations ! 

4. That da\>\ " ffi that night, — no doubt a paraphrase due to 
'day' being understood to refer to that part of the day which 
it must have referred to, if ^^ were understood, as ffi under- 
stood it, of Job's birth'''' (Dr.). — Let not God inquire after ii\ 
viz. to give it its light when its time comes ; let Him be in- 
different to it, and leave it a day of darkness. — Neither let^ 
etc.] as a consequence of God's not caring for it. 

5. Black gloom\ nv^^^', the strongest word which Heb. 
possesses to express the idea of darkness. If the rendering 
shadow of death (so fH) is correct, the meaning will be darkness 
as intense as that of the abode of death, Sheol (Ges. Thes. 
'■'■ tenebrcB Orci, i.e. tenebrce detisissimcB" ; cf. io2i- 22 38^^): if, 
however, it is to be regarded, with most moderns, not as a com- 
pound, but as an independent word (see phil. n.), it must be 
rendered by some other expression denoting intense darkness 
(RVm. deep darkness). — Claim it] The word (^xj) means properly 
to claim effectively property the possession of which has lapsed 
{i.e. to redeem it) ; the right, or duty, of doing this devolved 

III. 5-8.] JOB 

^ That nig'ht — let thick darkness take it ! 

Let it not rejoice among the days of the year ! 

Into the number of the months let it not come ! 
' Lo, that night — let it be sterile ! 

Let no joyful voice come therein ! 
^ Let them curse it that ban the day ! 

Who are ready to rouse up Leviathan. 

commonly upon the owner's nearest relation (the ^i^i : see 
GoEL in EBi.) ; hence the idea is, as soon as the day appears, 
let darkness, as its nearest relation, at once assert it rights, 
and take possession of it. — T/ie blacknesses of day] Let it not 
merely be taken possession of by ordinary darkness : let the 
appalling and abnormal obscurations, produced by eclipses, 
tornadoes, sandstorms, etc., such as are apt to darken the day, 
make it a day not of darkness only, but of terror. Cf. the 
descriptions of the "day" of Yahweh, Zeph. i^^, Joel 2- al. 

6. T/ial nighi\ Bi. Du. omit (see above on ^"^^). Honth. 
thai day. — Take\ with the implication of take away (Gn. 5-*), 
so that it can no more take its place in the year. Seize on 
(EVV.) does not quite express the right nuance. — Rejoice 
among] let it have no part in the band of happy days that 
make up the year. ST, vocalizing differently, has be united to 
(so AV. Hi. Me. Bu. Du. Sgf.): this is supported by the par- 
allelism of the next clause ; but the thought is more prosaic 
(Dr. ; so Di. Pe.). 

7. " While other nights ring with birthday gladness, let it 
sit barren " (Da.) ; let not there ever be heard in it the joyful 
sound of one announcing to the father the good news of the 
birth of a son and gladdening his heart thereby; cp. Jer. 20^^ 
(Tk^Q and inncc' ^D:^'). — Sterile] 110^:, stony, stone-barren, un- 
productive as the rock (Arab, jahnud, a rock, or mass of rock) 
15^^ 30^, Is. 49^^. Not the usual Heb. word for barren (mpy). 

8. That ban the day] enchanters or magicians reputed to 
have the power to make days unlucky, — either in general, or, 
in particular (cp. ^), by producing eclipses, the day on which 
an eclipse occurred being considered inauspicious. — To rouse 
up Leviathan] i.e. the dragon which, according to ancient ideas, 


34 THE BOOK OF JOB [HI. 8-9. 

^ Let the stars of its (morning^-) twilig-ht be dark ! 
Let it wait for light, but have none ! 
Neither let it look upon the eyelids of the dawn ! 

was supposed — and in many parts of the world is supposed 
still (see, e.g., E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture,^ i. 328 flF.) — when 
an eclipse occurred, either to swallow up the sun, or moon, or 
to surround it in its coils ; an allusion to this idea is detected 
by some in 26'^, Leviathan (jfT'li'), properly something 
•wreathed or coiled [cp. ^]y, a chaplet, Pr. 1^4^), and denoting- 
apparently the crocodile in 41^*- (402^^-). The crocodile, a symbol 
of Egypt in Ps. 74^*, and a sea-monster in Ps. 104^^, is here 
an imaginary serpent-like monster, represented as stirred up 
to produce the eclipse by the incantations of the professional 
cursers. The ethnic parallels do not, however, furnish us with 
instances of attempts to make the eclipse-monster swallow the 
sun and so produce eclipses, but only of attempts to make it 
disgorge or let go of the sun, and so prevent or end eclipses. 
Du. explains differently : as in ^^- ^- ^'^ he sees not ordinary 
darkness, but the darkness of chaos (Gn. i^), which, rising up 
out of the deep, like a heavy cloud (^^), may, Job hopes, 
overwhelm his birthday ; so here in Leviathan he sees the 
chaos-dragon (Tiamat) who, as a personification of the powers 
opposed to light, threatens the world of gods and men with 
destruction. When the enchanters disturb this monster, the 
tohu wahhohu — the chaos which Jer. 423^- so finely describes — 
threatens to break forth and engulph the day on which this 
takes place. A mythological allusion of this kind might 
readily occur in Job (cp. 7^^ 9^^ 26^2. i3j j but it may be doubted 
whether this explanation does not put more into Job's words 
than they naturally express. Gu. [Schdpf. u. Chaos, p. 59), 
Che. {JQR, 1897, p. 975; ET x. (1899) 380) Be. would read: 
"that lay a spell upon the sea " (D^ for nr) ; but this introduces 
an idea foreign to the context. 

9. Let its morning stars, Venus and Mercury, the harbingers 
of day, never appear ! Let it remain an endless night waiting 
for a dawn that never breaks. The idea is fully expressed in 
* and °, the stricter parallels, and ^ may be out of place (see 

III. 9-26.] JOB 35 

i** Because it shut not up the doors of my (mother's) womb, 
Nor hid travaH from my eyes ! 

abovo). — Twilight] nesheph denotes the evening twilig-ht in 
24^^, Pr. 7^ al., and the momiiig twilig-ht, as here, in 7*, 
Ps. 119^*^. — Wait for\ EVV. have the expressive rendering 
look for (so elsewhere, e.g.. Is. 59^^ Jer 13^^) ; but the figure is 
not in the Heb. , nip meaning simply to "wait. — The eyelids oj 
the dawn] a beautiful figure repeated, or imitated, in 411*^(18): 
the first crimson streaks of light which herald the rising sun ; 
op. Soph. Ant. 103, ■^vcrea<; dfiipa<i l3\€(f>apov. 

10. Shut not up, etc.] like similar but not identical phrases 
in Gn. 16^ (m^D ^n^fj;), 20^8 (q^^ ^y^ -,^.j;)^ i 5. i^ ('-, -|jd), ^ 
(S nj?3 "iJD), the phrase ''3133 ^vb^ "i3D, to shut the doors of the 
womb, might here refer to prevention of conception, as Dm nnD, 
to open the womb, in Gn. 29^^ 30^^ means to render conception 
possible ; in this case the subj. would be the night on which 
Job was conceived. But the phrase would obviously be 
equally suitable to the closing of the womb against the egress 
of the embryo ; in this case the day (or night) of Job's birth 
(cp. ^) is the subject, and the poet is giving a special turn to 
an idea that occurs elsewhere (Is. 37^ 66^^). It can scarcely 
be more than an accident that the closing of doors, when 
mentioned in the OT., generally has in view the prevention of 
ingress {e.g. Gn. 19^°, Neh. 6^^, Is. 45^) and rarely the pre- 
vention of egress (? 38^). — My (another's) womb'] Heb. my womb, 
i.e. the womb which bare me : so, though other views have 
been taken, 19^'^. — Travail] Heb. ^oy, properly labour (Qoh. 
i3 2^° etc.; Ps. 90^°), toil (cp. the vb. Ps. 127^); hence fig. 
travail [EVW. usually trouble), Ps. lo^'* 25^^ etc.. Is. 53^^ (cp. 
the adj. below, v.^°) : when prepared by the wicked for others, 
generally rendered in EVV. for distinctness mischief (15^^, 
Ps. 715.17(14.16) io7. i^etc). 

II-26. To the curse succeeds the questioning and com- 
plaint, in two unequal paragraphs, each beginning with 
"wherefore" — ^^~^^ (nine distichs) and 20-26 (seven distichs). 
The curse reveals Job's deep and passionate judgment of the 
facts of his life : it is travail, travail so bitter that the day that 

36 THE BOOK OF JOB [ill. 11-15. 

^^ Why did I not die from the womb, 

Come forth from the belly, and expire? 

^'^ Why did the knees receive me ? 

Or why the breasts, that I should suck? 

^^ For then should I have lain down and been quiet ; 
I should have slept ; then were I at rest : 

failed to prevent this existence deserves the severest malediction. 
But malediction does not alter the fact ; Job is alive, and Job's 
life is travail. Why ? If he was not to perish in the womb 
{^^), but to come out through its doors into the world of life, 
yet why, even so, did he not die at once, before he could 
become conscious of the travail of life? Why {^^^■) the bitter 
mockery, as it seems now, of his parents' welcome to him and 
care for his infant life? That care had robbed him of the great 
prize (^^^•) of death, and had forced on him misery (2o-26j j^i 
place of the stillness and peace of death (i^"^"). Job disregards 
here (see introductory note to the ch.) not only the long years 
of happiness that he had previously enjoyed, but also the 
drearier aspects of Sheol, which elsewhere he could vividly 
portray. At present his mind is filled with the thought of 
life as travail, and death as rest. 

11. Du. may be right in placing ^^ immediately after ^'^ (see 
phil. n.). The two verses would then read together thus : 

Why did I not die from the womb, 

Come forth from the belly, and expire? 

Or (why) was I not like a hidden untimely birth, 
As infants which never saw the light ? 

J^roni the 'woinh\ i.e. immediately after birth. ffi "in the 
womb " is not to be preferred. 

12. The knees] commonly explained of the knees of the 
father, on which the newborn child was laid as a mark of 
acceptance and legitimation ; cp. Gn. 50^^. — Receive 7ne] Prop. 
come in front of me, cotne to meet me — with some service or 
kindness {e.g. Dt. 23^, with food). 

14-15. He would, moreover, instead of being an outcast, 
lying in squalor, and an object of contempt to all (19^^^- 30^- ^•), 

III. 14-17.] JOB 37 

1* With kings and counsellors of the e:irtli, 

Who built '^ pyramids^ (?) for themselves ; 
1^ Or with princes that had gold, 

Who filled their houses with silver : 
^^ Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been ; 

As infants which never saw light. 
^^ There the wicked cease (their) raging ; 

And there the weary be at rest. 

have at least been in the company of the wealthy and illustrious 
de?id.— Counsellors of the eari/i\ 12^"^ . — Pyramids] MT. has, '* who 
built up waste places for themselves" (so X), i.e. who re-built 
ruined cities or habitations (so Is. 58^^ 61^ al.), that they might 
inhabit them themselves. This, however, yields a poor sense ; 
kings do not usually attain fame by ^-e-building ruined sites. ni3"in 
may be an error for n)byr\, palaces (Be.), or (Ol. Di.) ni:D"iK, 
fortified palaces', or (Ew. Bu. Du.) it may be a corruption of 
niO^n, pyramids (cf. Arab. ?iiram, a pyramid, which viay be of 
Egypt, origin) : the allusion, in this case, will be to the p3'ramids 
built for themselves as mausoleums by the kings of Egypt. 
** Palaces " would be mentioned, like the gold and silver of v.^^, 
as an indication of the earthly greatness of those with whom 
Job would then be: "pyramids" would, in addition, suggest 
impressively the placid sleep of those who lay buried in them. 

16. Or (attaching to ^^), like one prematurely born, put 
away at once out of sight, or {}^^) like a stillborn child, he 
would have had no existence at all : if he had not been with 
the famous dead, he would, at least, have been equally removed 
from life and its troubles. — An tintimely birth] ^^}, (ffit eKjpoifxa, 
as I Cor. 158), as Ps. 58^, Qoh. GM- 

17-19. He dwells on the thought of the peacefulness of 
Sheol, — a peacefulness shared in by all alike. 

17. Raging] the Heb. is a subst., and cannot have the 
transitive sense oi troubling (EVV.). The idea of I3"i is strong 
agitation ; the vb. TJ") is lit. to shake (intrans.) violently, as 
mountains, Is. 5--'; then fig., of difterent strong emotions, 
usually of terror (Ex. 1$^^, Dt. 2-^, Is. 32^''), but also of wrath 
(Is. 28^^, Pr. 29^), surprise (Is. 14^), violent grief (2 S. 19^). 

38 THE BOOK OF JOB [ill. 17-21, 

1^ (There) the captives are at ease together ; 

They hear not the voice of the taskmaster. 
^^ The small and great are there ; 

And the servant is free from his master. 

^ Why doth he give light to him that is in travail, 
And life unto the bitter in soul ; 

So T31, agitation (though it cannot always be rendered in English 
by the same word), is used in 37^ of the rolling of thunder, Hab. 
3^ of wrath, in ch. 3^^ of a tumult of feeling, 14^ (cf. Is. 14^) of 
the unrest of life, here of the turbulence of passion (cf. for the 
unrest of the wicked, Is. 57^''). The "troubling" of others 
may be a consequence of this ; but it is not itself the idea which 
TJ'"i expresses. 

18. Captives] As ^ shows, captives employed in forced 
labour, like the Israelites in Egypt. EVV. prisoners', but this 
so much suggests persons who are imprisoned, that it is here 
misleading and unsuitable. The Heb. (lit. the bound) is not 
limited to persons imprisoned, but is used in the broader sense 
of those confined in captivity (Ps. 69^* 102^^). — The voice of the 
taskmaster] (Ex. 3'^ 5^- ^*'- ^^- ^*), urging them to their work with 
shouts and curses. The word means properly the hard-presser 
(Is. 3^2 9^ 14^'*; in the exaction of money, Dt. 15^-^, 2 K. 23^). 

20-26. Why does God prolong life to those who in general 
po-22j^ and like Job in particular (23-26^^ jj^ their misery, long 
only for death ? 

20. Doth he give] or, is given (see phil. n.). He does not 
name, though he alludes to God ; and the indirect reference, 
though partly due to reverence, betrays a rising alienation in 
his heart (Da.). He hints in ^3 that he owes his calamity to 
God ; but it is only after Eliphaz's rebuke (c. 5) that he says it 
outright (6"^). — Hi7n that is in travail] Lit. one labouring, toil- 
ing; cognate to the word rendered travail m^^. — Bitter in soul], 
i.e. soured, disappointed, aggrieved. The combination (with 
adj., verb, or subst.) is frequent: Jg. 18^^, i S. i^** 22^ 30", 
2 S. 17^ (as a bear robbed of its cubs). 

21. Search] Lit. dig (Ex. 7^*) ; but 11^^392" show that the 

III. 21-25.] JOB 39 

21 Who long for death, but it cometh not; 

And search for it more than for hid treasures ; 

22 Who are glad unto exultation, 

And rejoice, when they find the grave? 
*^ Unto a man whose way is hid. 

And whom God hath hedged in? 
2* For instead of (?) my bread my sighing cometh, 

And my roarings are poured out like water. 
25 For I fear a fear, and it cometh upon me, 

And that which I dread cometh unto me. 

word may be used without any thought of its Kt. meaning : cf. 
Pr. 2* (n±'Dnn D'':iD0D3i). It is, however, specially apposite 
here, as D'iDDD (from V pD, "to hide") were often " hidden " 
in the earth (Jer. 41^ 'ji U'On mK'a D''30t20 i:i? K'^ ''Dj Jos. 7^1 

23. A man, etc.] Job's way is "hid," so that he cannot see 
in which direction to turn, and "hedged in," so that he knows 
no way of escape from the difficulties in which he finds himself. 
The reference is not, perhaps, merely to his physical sufferings, 
but also to the mental distress occasioned by them : the sense 
that the calamities which have befallen him are undeserved, 
the difficulty of reconciling them with his belief in the justice of 
God, — these form a riddle which he cannot solve, and place 
him in a situation of dire perplexity, from which he can find no 
outlet (cf. 19^^-). — Hedged in\ (virtually) the word used by the 
Satan in 1^° in a different sense : there of the protection which 
God had thrown around Job, here of the mental embarrassment 
which His treatment of him had occasioned. Cf. for the 
figure, Hos. 2^, c. 19^, La. 3'^. 

24. Instead of (?) my bread] the rendering is doubtful (see 
phil. n.). For the thought, cf. Ps. 42'^ ^3) go^H— Cow^//i] 
Cometh constantly or regularly: the sense of the Heb. impf. — 
My roarings] Properly, the roaring of a lion (4^°) ; then fig. 
of loud groanings or complaints; so Ps. 22^ 32^; cf. 38^. — 
As 7va/er] In a continuous stream. 

25. I fear a fear] he has but to imagine some direful mis- 
fortune, and it comes upon him. 

40 THE BOOK OF JOB [ill. 26-IV. V. 

2^ I have no ease, and no quiet, 

And no rest ; and (yet) torment cometh. 

IV. ^ And Eliphaz the Temanite answered, and said, 

26. His hopeless monotony of unrest. He has no time to 
breathe {9^^), no time to recover from one thought of agony or 
despair before another overwhelms him. — Torment^ the strong 
word (TJl) explained on ^"^ . Here it denotes the vehement tumult 
of feeling — sense of injustice and desertion by God, despair, 
alarm (cf. 7I1-1*) — produced, directly or indirectly, by his disease. 
Cf. the ^'[ 3P, or "agitated heart," which Israel, in its anxiety 
for its life, its restlessness, its constant fear, is to have when 
in exile (Dt. aS^^, cf. 66-67), 

IV. V. Eliphaz's first speech. — Silent a whole week 
through, while Job was silent (2^^), the friends are driven into 
speech by his words ; partly from their concern for God, for 
Job's words, though not directly and by name accusing God, must 
have seemed to border on blasphemy, so that God needed to be 
defended {iz'^' 42^) ; partly from their concern for Job, lest his 
attitude under trial (4^) should annul the merit of a life of piety 
(46), and prevent that restoration to happiness which must 
certainly follow a humble acceptance of present calamity (5^"^^). 
Eliphaz is the first of the friends to speak, probably because he 
was the eldest of them (cp. 15^*', if this is a covert allusion to 
Eliphaz's own age, and 32^, where Elihu explains that, as the 
youngest, he had kept silence to the last), or, perhaps, because 
he was the most eminent (cp. 29^) of them. He begins with a 
word of apology (4^), and of surprise that Job, who has so 
often comforted others in their adversity, should, in his own 
trouble, abandon himself to despair (^"^). Then, so far from 
making an immediate attack upon Job, he recalls Job's former 
perfect life ; and to enforce the point that this should even now 
give him hope and confidence C), he utters some general 
truths : the righteous man never perished under affliction (^) : 
it is the wicked who receive the reward of their deeds (^^'') : 
above all, he had learnt by a mysterious revelation that no 
man is righteous before God {^^~"^). He now turns to Job, 

IV. 2-4.] ELIPHAZ 4I 

* If one attempt a word with thee, wilt thou be impatient? 
But to restrain words, who is able ? 

advising him to apply these truths to himself. Resentment 
against God only incurs disaster (5^"'^). In Job's place he would 
betake himself to God (^), whose government of the world is 
wonderful and good (^"^^), and whose chastisements are designed 
only to lead to ultimate blessing (17-26) . igt Jq^ take heed {^''). 

In this first speech, Eliphaz, for the most part, applies his 
theory of life and of God's dealings to Job's case with con- 
sideration and tenderness; yet, in 4^, he is rather "joining 
words together against Job" than placing himself in Job's 
place (16*), so as to be able to do for Job, in this greater 
distress, what Job had been wont to do to others ; Job used to 
speak to those in danger of despair, but not, like Eliphaz in ^, 
merely to tell them what poltroons they were ; and to the be- 
reaved {2g^^^-), but not merely, as Eliphaz in 5-^, almost oblivious 
of the poignancy of the sudden loss of children, to speak con- 
ventionally of others yet to be. 

2. Eliphaz begins with a question, as also in 15^ 22^; and 
so Bildad in 8^ i8\ Sophar in ii^; indeed, the only speeches of 
the friends not opening with a question are Sophar's second 
(20^) and Bildad's (mutilated) third (25^) speech. — // one 
attempt^ etc.] for an alternative translation of f^, see phil. n. 
It is doubtful whether fflr, on which Be.'^ is inclined to base a 
variant, is more than a paraphrase of |^. * is overlong in f^, 
but also in ffi ; it may originally have been shorter and more 
closely parallel to ^. — Impatient] Heb. wearied. "Grieved" in 
EVV. is an archaism for troubled or harassed : and "commune" 
is an archaism for "speak." 

3, 4. The second lines of each v. are complete parallels to 
one another, and, if united, would give a distich of the type 
a. b. c I a', b'. c' ; with slight variations they actually do 
occur elsewhere (Is. 35^), so united in a distich of the form 
a. b. c I b'. c'. a' (cp. Forms of Hebrew Poetry, p. 66 f.). In 
spite of this, it is unnecessary and even inadvisable to trans- 
pose ^*' and *^ ; the parallelism of ^* with ^"^ and ^* with ^^, 
though incomplete, is entirely normal [Forms, pp. 59!., 72fif.). 

42 THE BOOK OF JOB [IV. 3-6. 

^ Behold, thou hast instructed many, 

And slack hands thou hast been wont to strengthen. 
* Him that was stumbling, thy words would raise up, 

And bowing knees thou wouldst confirm. 
^ Because now it cometh unto thee, and thou art impatient, 

It reacheth unto thee, and thou art dismayed. 

^ Is not thy fear (of God) thy confidence, 

■^And^ thy hope the perfectness of thy ways? 

3. Instructed^ i.e. according to the proper meaning of 10% 
"instructed morally^' (see Dr. on Dt. 4^^), teaching them, for 
instance, to view their afflictions as a father's chastening, and 
as having a moral purpose. — Slack\ or, hanging- down, a sign 
of helplesness and despondency. 

4. IIi?n that was stumbling and the bowing knees are both 
figures for those unable to bear up under the weight of affliction ; 
cp. Is. 35^ (of the despondent Israelites in exile). 

5. Because\ gives the reason why Eliphaz speaks as he has 
done in ^ {Lex. 474a) ; at the first taste of trouble, so it seem.s 
to Eliphaz the onlooker. Job has broken down entirely, losing 
patience and self-possession. With this reason for venturing 
to speak, the apologetic introduction to the speech is at an 
end; the speech proper, which Eliphaz feels compelled to address 
to Job, begins with ^. 

6. Having briefly and rather indirectly expressed his surprise 
at, and disapprobation of. Job's words and present temper (^-S), 
Eliphaz starts the main argument of his speech with a recogni- 
tion of Job's character as reflected in his life before trouble 
came ; he admits that Job had been perfect (see on i^), and his 
life regulated by "fear" (hnT, which Eliphaz (15^ 22^), but he 
only, uses absolutely in the sense of the more usual phrase, 
" fear of God " ; cp. the adj. in i^). This being so. Job ought 
not to have lost confidence and hope ; since, however, as his 
words had shown, he had done so for the moment at least, 
Eliphaz proceeds, in the light of his own observation of life (^), 
to show C'- *^) why a " perfect " man has no need to despair even 
if affliction comes to him. 

IV. 7-9. 1 ELIPHAZ 43 

^ Remember, I pray thee, who (ever) perished, being' 

innocent ? 
Or where were the upright cut off? 

* According as I have seen, they that plow naughtiness, 

And they that sow trouble, reap it. 

* By the breath of God they perish, 

And by the blast of his anger are they consumed. 

7-9. No righteous man ever perished under affliction ; if 
the righteous suffer, their afllictions are disciplinary only, and 
not intended for their destruction. It is the wicked who, if 
they fall into misfortune, are reaping the fruits of their own 
misdeeds. Eliphaz's theodicy is that of the old-fashioned school 
represented by the author of Ps. 37. It is not very tactfully ex- 
pressed, however : Job's longing was to find release from misery 
by death : it is the reward of the righteous, Eliphaz begins, 
that they do not die [i.e. before completing- the full tale of life). 

8. Na2ightiness\ '' Aioen seems to denote properly what is 
empty, disappointing, valueless', and it is used in different 
senses, according- to the context. Thus it denotes {a) calamity, 
misfortutte. Am. 5^, Bethel shall come to misfortune (P^^v 'T'n^) ; 
Pr. 12^1 no calamity (i)X) will happen to the righteous; 22^ He 
that soweth unrighteousness reapeth misfortune ; [b), as here, 
7iaught-y conduct, naughtiness, a term of disparagement for 
wickedness, as Mic. 2^ Ah, they that devise naughtiness, and 
work evil upon their beds; Ps. 7^^ 10'^ 36*-^ etc., and often in 
the expression i|ix vvb, Ps. 5^^^^ etc. ; (c) a thing of nought, 
especially an idol. Is. 66^ He that burneth incense is as ( = no 
better than) he that blesseth a thing of nought (an idol), Zee. lo^. 
For the figures, expressing significantly how the consequence 
follows inevitably from the action, cf. Hos. 8^ 10^^ and Pr. 22^. 
— Trouhle\ '"pV' ^^^ word explained on 3^°. The meaning of the 
verse is thus that those who "plow," ^dwen, in the form of 
"naughtiness," will reap it in the form of "misfortune," and 
that those who "sow," 'amal, or "travail," for others will 
reap it in its consequences themselves. 

9. The verse describes what the "harvest" implied in ^"^ is. 
The underlying figure is that of herbage, withered and burned 

44 THE BOOK OF JOB [IV. 9-12. 

^^ The roaring of the Hon, and the voice of the loud lion, 
And the teeth of the young lions are dashed out. 

^^ The stout lion perisheth for lack of prey, 

And the whelps of the lioness are scattered abroad. 

^2 But to me was a word brought stealthily. 
And mine ear received a whisper from it. 

up by a hot blast blowing up from the desert, with which 
Yahweh's breath is implicitly compared. Cf. Hos. 13^^ ("the 
sirocco shall come, ^/le breath [or 'wind\ of Vahweh, coming up 
from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his 
fountain shall be dried up"), Is. 40''. 

lO-II. Another graphic figure describing the sudden de- 
struction of the wicked : the breaking-up and dispersion of a 
den of lions : the lions, powerful and terrible as they were, 
have their strength broken by a sudden blow ; the old lion 
perishes for lack of food, and the cubs are dispersed. Cf. 52-^, 
where the actual breaking-up of the home of the wicked is 
described. The sudden blow is described in ^^ by the perf. 
tense ; the ptcp. and impf. in ^^ describe what then follows. 
Are dashed out (same word as Ps. 58^) belongs properly only to 
teeth ; roaring and voice are connected with it by zeugma. 

12-21. Let Job remember that no man can be pure before 
God. Eliphaz has insisted that no righteous man perishes in 
his afflictions ; but the question still remains. What is the 
cause of Job's afflictions? This, he proceeds to impress upon 
Job, was not anything peculiar to Job himself: it was the 
general imperfection of all created beings, which Job shares 
not only with other men, but even with angels, the highest 
and purest of God's creatures. This truth he places before Job 
with delicacy and consideration : it had been impressed upon 
him by a voice from heaven, coming in the still hours of 
night : Job might not have had such an experience : Eliphaz 
thus at once excuses Job, and also instructs him. 

12. To me\ The words are emphatic: they contrast what 
was revealed to Eliphaz personally (cp. 15^^ 22--) with what 
Job and other persons might have learnt from ordinary experi- 

IV. 12-14.] ELIPHAZ 45 

^3 Amid thoughts (arising') out of visions of the night, 

When deep sleep fallcth on men, 
'^ F'ear came upon me, and trembMng, 

And filled my bones with dread. 

ence. — A whisper from it\ '* His ear caught it all, but the whole 
of it was but a whisper" (Da.). 

I3-I6. How the truth was borne in upon him which he 
desires to impress upon Job. It was in the dead of night, 
when all around were in deep sleep. His mind was agitated 
by perplexing thoughts arising out of visions of the night. 
Suddenly a great terror fell upon him ; and he was conscious 
of a breath, or cold wind, passing before him. Then he seemed 
to perceive a figure standing before him, too dim, however, to 
be discerned distinctly, from which came forth a still voice, 
which said. Can a mortal be just before God, or can a man be 
pure before his Maker ? 

13. Thoughts] The word (Q^Ql-t', 20^ ; cf. D^EVi";;', Ps. 941^ 
139237) seems to denote divided (cf. ixepfirjpL^o)), tangled, per- 
plBKing thoughts. — Deep sleep] 33^^, Gn. 2^^ i^^'^, i S. 26^2, 
Pr. 19^^ 

14b. Lit. made the multitude of 7ny bones to fear, i.e. my 
bones, as many as they are : as we should say, my whole frame. 
The bones, as the supporting framework of the body, are often 
in Heb. poetry taken as representing it; and affections, and 
even emotions, pervading or affecting strongly a man's being, 
are poetically attributed to them, or conceived as operating in 
them. See, for instance, Pr. 3^ (wisdom, rnoisttire to thy bones), 
1 2* (a bad wife, rottenness in the bones), is^o [u'iV ItJ'iri nniD nj;io:^), 
17^^ (DIJ t^'BTl nS3: nn) ; in prosperity they "sprout," Is. 66^* 
(njmDn N:^'^D oaTllO^iyi) ; in sickness or trouble they are parched 
up, Jb. 30=^0, Ps. 102* (nna ipio3 "nio^'y), cf. Lam. i^^ (b>« n^^^ 
TilOVyn), or shrivelled, Ps. 3111(10) (ic^tj^y "'DW). or wear away, 
32^ ("'0^'y 1^3) ; in great fear "rottenness" enters into them 
(Hab. 3!^); in deep emotion they are dismayed, Ps. 6^ (2) 
("'Di'y li5n33), or rejoice, 5iio(s) (n^an niJD^'y n:^jn), and Ps. 351" in 
the praise of God they even "speak." And so here they 
"fear" (not "quake," EVV.). 

46 THE BOOK OF JOB [IV. 15-17. 

1^ And a breath passed before my face ; 

The hair of my flesh bristled up. 
^^ It stood still, but I discerned not its appearance; 

(It was) a form before mine eyes : 

I heard a still voice (saying), 
^^ " Can a mortal be just before God? 

Or can a man be pure before his Maker ? 

15-16. Notice the graphic imperfects. 

15. A breach] An uncanny breath, or cold air, the symbol of 
a presence which he could not discern, seemed to pass over 
him. nn, "spirit," does not occur in the OT. in the sense of 
an apparition (EVV.), 

16. // (i)] the mysterious object in his presence. — A form\ 
Heb. njion denoting here a form, the presence of which could 
be felt, though its appearance or contour could not be distinctly 
descried : cf. of the intangible, yet quasi-sensual, manifestation 
of Yahweh which was vouchsafed to Moses (Nu. 12^), and to 
which the Psalmist aspires to be admitted (Ps. lyisCu)^ . ^^^ gee 
Dr. on Dt. 4^^. — A still voice] Lit. stillness and a voice — a hen- 
diadys = a still low voice. Cf. i K. ig^^ ,-,p^ nODT h\\>, ^^ the 
sound (or a voice) of thin stillness" = " a still, small voice." 

17-21. The contents of the revelation. V.^^ states the 
revelation itself; ^^"^^ gives the proof of it. With ^'^"^^ com- 
pare 15I4-16 (Eliphaz), 25*"^ (Bildad), where the argument and 
largely also the expressions are similar. 

17. Just before God] see phil. n. The grammatically possible 
alternative rendering "more just than God" (EV.) is unsuit- 
able, and whatever may be the case in 32^ (Elihu) was not 
intended here, as ^^ shows. Before God and before his Maker 
are emphatic : men might judge a man just and pure, not so 
God, who finds even angels imperfect, and, a fortiori^ men. 
For Job's attitude to the subject of this revelation, see g^. It 
is noticeable that Eliphaz even here rather implies an identi- 
fication of omnipotence and absolute moral purity ; God is 
omnipotent and all-just (^^) ; the angels, as His servants, are 
inferior to Him in power and in liability to error (^^) ; men 
subject to the frailties of the body and the transitoriness of 

IV. 17-21.1 ELIPHAZ 47 

'8 " Behold, in his servants he putteth no trust; 

And his angels he chargeth with error: 
^" How much more them that dwell in houses of clay, 

Whose foundation is in the dust. 
They are crushed before the moth ; 

20 Betwixt morning- and evening they are beaten to pieces. 
Without any heeding, they perish for ever. 

21 If their (tent-) cord is plucked up within them. 

Do they not die, and that without wisdom ? " 

human life are by far inferior to the angels in power, and in 
moral standing before God {^^). 

18. His servants] i.e. (cp. ^) His heavenly attendants. — 
Error\ or, changing a letter, /o/Zy : see phil. n. 

19. Houses of clay] bodies made of clay (cp. 10^ 33^), or 
dust (Gn. 2^ 3^^ I Cor. 15*^ e/c 7%, x"'''^^'*)- For the fig. 
"houses," cp. 2 Cor. 5^ rj iirlyeio^i r}/j,o)V oIklu tov aKi')vov<i : 
Wis. 9^ TO 7ea»Se9 crKr]vo<i'. 2 P. i^^ 17 a7r66ecn<^ tov aK7]V(i)fxar6<i 
^ov. — Whose foundations^ etc.] their very foundation is of the 
earth ; they are derived from earth, and limited to earth. And 
that being so, they are the more fragile and destructible. For 
"foundations" as a figure for the "conditions of existence" 
(Bu.), cp. 22I6 (Eliphaz) and Pr. lo^s. 

19c, 20a. These lines are obvious parallels (cp. Forms, 70 ; 
cp. 66 f.) forming together a distich, which expresses the frailty 
and, hyperbolically, the brevity of human life : man is the 
creature of a day, dying more quickly and easily than such a 
fragile insect as the moth (^''° ; cp. Is. 51^), born in the morning 
and dead before nightfall (20*; cp. Is. 38^2, Ps. goS'-). The 
verbs, expressing man's destruction, appear to be chosen with 
reference to the clay houses of their bodies (^^) ; it is true that 
the first (D1X3T') is elsewhere used metaphorically {Lex.), but 
here it seems to be literal : they are crushed or pulverized back 
into the fine dust (S3n, Ps. 90^) from which they were made 
(Gn. 3^^, Qoh. 12"), beaten to pieces or reduced to fragments 
("ina"': of a potter's vessel, Is. 30^*). 

20b, 21. Scarcely a tristich ; but whether apparently so, or 
an isolated stichos and distich, the form is suspicious and the 

4^ THE BOOK OF JOB [IV. 21-V. 1. 

V. ^ Call now; is there any that will answer thee? 
And to which of the holy ones wilt thou turn? 

text contains some questionable features (see phil. n.). — With- 
out any heeding\ if the text is correct, this should mean : so 
insignificant are they no one notices them, or cares for their 

21. If the text is correct, the end of life is compared to the 
collapse of a tent as soon as the cord holdingf it in its place is 
plucked up ; if the figure be pressed, the body will correspond 
to the tent (cp. Is. 38^^ <<my habitation (m) — fig. for my body 
— is plucked tip, and carried away from me like a shepherd's 
tent"), and the life to the cord. The v. emphasises the quick- 
ness and completeness of man's end. Elsewhere the end of 
life is represented by the figure of cutting off a thread (6^ 
Is. 38^''^''), or cutting the cord which suspends a lamp (Qoh. 12^). 
— And that without wisdom] Eliphaz has pointed out the physical 
imperfections of human nature ; here he reverts to the point 
(i7-i9a^ which the thought of these is intended to lead up to, 
viz. its moral imperfection ; men die without having attained 
wisdom, i.e. without having realized the moral limitations of 
human nature, without having perceived — as Job, for in- 
stance, has not perceived — that no man (i'^) can be morally 

V. 1-7- Since no man can be just before God, it is only 
the foolish who resent God's dealings with them, and, in con- 
sequence, bring upon themselves disaster. 

I. Call now, is there any, etc.] "The imperative is not 
ironical, but merely a very animated way of putting a supposi- 
tion : if thou appeal then against God, is there any that will 
hear thee or aid thee?" (Da.). — Holy ones] angels: so 15^^ 
(Eliphaz) ; also Zee. 14^, Ps. 896- §, Dn. 410- 1*- 20 gis, Ecclus. 42^7, 
En. i^ (and very often : see Charles, n. ad loc.). The heavenly 
beings are so termed, not on account of moral perfection 
(ct. 4^^), but of their proximity to God. The v. appears to 
indicate that the writer was familiar with the custom of seekino- 
the intercession of angels (cp., perhaps, 33^^^ Elihu). The germ 
of this custom, though not the custom itself, may be found in 

V. 1-2.] ELIPHAZ 49 

2 (Nay); for it is the foolish man, whom vexation killeth, 
And the silly one whom jealousy slayeth. 

Zee. i^^, where the ang^el of Yahweh, voluntarily and unsought 
by man, intercedes with God on behalf of Jerusalem. Later, 
Raphael is represented as bringing- the "memorial of the prayer" 
of Tobit and Sara before God (Tob. 1 2^^), and (Tob. i2>^ ffi^^^) as 
one of the seven angels who present the prayers of the saints ; 
"the holy ones of heaven" are besought by the souls of the 
righteous dead to bring their cause before God (En. g^- ^°) ; and 
in En. 15^ it is implied that angels are the natural intercessors 
for men : see, further, on this doctrine between 200 B.C. and 100 
A.D., Charles's n. on Test. Levi 3^. Though the doctrine of 
angelic intercession found here is different from, and presum- 
ably a later development than, that of Zee. i^^ (^jg b.c), and 
finds no clear and exact parallel earlier than Enoch (2nd cent. 
B.C.), it is scarcely necessary on this ground to treat the v. as 
a marginal comment on 4^^ that subsequently found its place 
here (Du.) ; and if the connection between 4^' and 5^ is not 
altogether obvious, neither would that between 4^^ and 5^ 
be closer (see Peake's criticism of Du.) ; for, as Bu. and Peake 
point out, 4^^ speaks of the common lot of frail man ; 5^^- of 
the destruction of fools in particular. And, again, 5^ may 
stand related to 5^: let not Job appeal to the angels, thereby 
manifesting the irritation of the foolish ; but let him turn in 
the right temper to God Himself. 

2. Since no man can be just before God, it is foolish, and 
indeed fatal, to cherish vexation or resentment at misfortune. — 
Vexah'on] t^'y^ (oys) means always the feeling of chagrin aroused 
by treatment regarded (rightly or wrongly) as unmerited. Only 
the foolish man displays it under misfortune. Cf. especially 
Pr. 12^'' "As for the fool, his vexation is made known presently." 
— Killeth II slavetli] viz., by causing them to murmur at their 
lot, and so bring upon themselves further calamities. — The silly 
one\ nn2 : cp. nns njV, a silly dove, Hos. 7^^. The term is akin 
to the more frequent TIS, the simple, credulous (Pr. 14^^) man ; 
see Toy on Pr. i;\^^.—Jealousy\ nN3p is parallel to b'y3, vexation, 
as are the corresponding vbs. in Dt. ■t^t}'^-'^^. The word is here 


50 THE BOOK OF JOB [V. 2-4. 

^ /have seen the foolish taking root ; 

But his habitation ^ was cursed 1 suddenly. 
■* Far now are his children from safety, 

And they are crushed in the gate with none to deliver 


almost equal to passion, passionate anger: cp. Pr. 14'^°, Is. 42^^ 
(a warrior's passion). 

3-5. Eliphaz cites an instance from his own experience 
(see 4^) confirming the truth stated in ^ : he saw a "foolish" 
man prospering for a time, but suddenly overtaken by mis- 
fortune. — Taking root\ The fig. is that of a tree, which is 
common in Job (8i«- 147-9 1532 jgie jgio 2420 2^^^).— Was 
cursed, etc.] |^ I cursed \ his habitation having been ruined, I 
suddenly cursed it as the abode of one who had been a sinner 
(cf. Ps. 3735!. J passed by it, and, lo, it was gone, etc.). But 
" suddenly " goes badly with " I cursed " : what we expect is 
a verb, stating directly what happened to the habitation, as, e.g.y 
that the curse of God fell on it : others, emending differently, 
render "was worm-eaten," or "was emptied out," or "was 
laid waste" (see phil. n.). — Habitation {p')'})\ properly a pastoral 
term, meaning a homestead, or abode of shepherds and flocks 
(Is. 65^°, Jer. 23^), but often used in poetry of a habitation in 
general (as Pr. 3^^, Is. 33^"). 

4. The effects of the disaster upon his family : deprived of 
their protector, his children are helpless, and cannot get their 
just rights. In the mention of the fate of the foolish man's 
house and family, there is an indirect glance at what has hap- 
pened to Job himself (i^^~i^). The "gate" (or rather "gateway," 
— a passage of some length with seats on both sides) of an 
Eastern city was the place where justice was often administered; 
see, e.g., c. 3i^\ Dt. 25^, Am. 5^", Is. 29^^ Ps. 127^ (where a 
man with a number of stalwart sons to support him can 
"speak" successfully " with his enemies in the gate "). With 
are crushed, comp. Pr. 22^^ " Rob not the poor because he is 
poor ; and crush not the afflicted in the gate." On this v. 
Wetzstein remarks [ap. Del.^ p. 84), "What a Semite dreads 
more than anything is the desolation of his family, so that its 

V. 4-6.] ELIPHAZ 5 1 

^ That which f^ they have reaped 1 the hungry eateth, 
And f their sheaf the poor taketh 1 (?), 
And ^ the thirsty drawcth from their well ^ (?). 

* For affliction cometh not forth from the dust, 
Neither doth travail spring out of the ground ; 

members all perish or come to misery, his home is laid waste, 
and its ruins become a proverb for future generations." This 
feeling- is particularly strong among the Bedawin, although 
naturally in their case there can be no question of the traces 
left by their hair-tents. 

5. The fate of the foolish man's possessions : with none to 
protect them, his crops become the prey of the hungry Bedawl 
plunderer. Literally rendered, ^ reads: whose (sing.) harvest 
the hungry eateth, and unto from (sic) thorns he taketh it, 
and the snare is eager for their substance. Some of this is 
impossible, more improbable (see phil. n.). Alternative emen- 
dations of '^ give : And the thirsty drinketh their milk (or, their 
wine). If, as is probable, " thirsty " is correctly restored in "^y 
^ which would then separate the more immediate parallels 
"hungry" and "thirsty" may well be intrusive and respon- 
sible for an original distich becoming a tristich. 

6-7. Eliphaz justifies ("For") his position, that it is foolish 
to complain of misfortune, by the principle that travail (3^'' n.) 
and affliction (px, 4^ n.) do not spring out of the earth like 
weeds, are not something external to man, which might come 
upon him undeservedly, but result from causes inherent in 
human nature : Job ought not, therefore, to be surprised if he 
has to experience them. Eliphaz, as before (4^''"^^), seeks to 
make it easy for Job to reconcile himself to his position, by 
showing him that his case is no exceptional one, but merely 
the exemplification of a general law : there is nothing strange in 
his suflfering affliction ; for it is natural to man so to do. 

6. Cometh forth'\ of vegetable growth, as 14^31*^, Dt. 14^2, 
Is. w^.—The diist\ the soil: so S^" (n.). "The dust" and 
"the ground," like "the dust" and " the earth " in 148, and 
like the vbs. in both lines, here simply belong- to the fig-, of 
vegetable growth : and it is a mistake, therefore, to detect in 

52 THE BOOK OF JOB [V. 6-16. 

^ But man is born unto travail, 
As sparks fly upwards. 

"from the dust" an implied contrast to "from on high" 
(Peake). — Spring out\ wyi is used reg-ularly of trees, vegeta- 
tion, etc., growing up from the ground: cp. Gn. t' 41^. 

7. Is bom unto trouble, etc.] "It is as natural for man to 
experience misfortune as it is for sparks (see phil. n.) to fly 
upwards. If pressed, Eliphaz would have said that man did 
not merely fall into misfortune, but brought misfortune upon 
himself by following the impulses of his evil nature ; but in his 
first speech he keeps the question of Job's sin in the back- 
ground, and alludes to it as lightly and indirectly as possible " 
(Dr.). This interpretation (see also on ^-"^ : and cp. Di. al.) 
has appeared to some to labour under difficulties either in 
itself, or as an interpretation of an original part of Eliphaz's 
speech. To avoid what appears to them inconsistency with 
other parts of Eliphaz's speech, We. [Jahrb.f. deutsche Theologie, 
xvi. 557), Sgf. Be. Du. om. vv.^-'^. Bu. finds the sense almost 
identical with that of 4^ — that man is actively responsible for 
his own misfortune; and, pointing the vb. in "^^ as a Hif., 
renders : But man begets travail. Du. urges that ^ is pointless, 
since Job has not urged the contrary, and, taken affirmatively, 
inconsistent with Eliphaz's position in 4^^^- ; nor is it probable 
that ^ should be taken interrogatively : torn, as they are, from 
their context the vv. remain obscure. Peake, not perhaps with- 
out reason, questions whether "not from the dust " in ^ really 
means not without a cause, and hazards the suggestion that ^ 
may originally have affirmed what it now denies (cp. Richter, 
who proposes xisn for s^ ""3), and that the meaning w^as : man is 
doomed to travail by the conditions of his earthly life, but (v.'^'') 
the angels escape, since they soar high above the earth. But 
the assumption that "sons of flame" mean not "sparks" 
but " angels " (C demons), is precarious. 

8-16. Were Eliphaz in Job's place, he would betake himself 
to God, who in His rule of the world is guided uniformly by 
purposes of good (^''~^^), and who, even when He sends chastise- 
ments, designs them as a blessing ('^ ■'^'^). 

V. 8 12.] ELIPIIAZ 53 

^ But as for me, 1 would seek unto God, 

And unto God would I lay out my cause : 
* Who doeth great things and unsearchable, 

Marvellous things without number: 
1" Who giveth rain upon the earth, 

And sendeth waters upon the fields : 
1^ r Who 1 setteth up on high those that be low ; 
And they which mourn are exalted to safety. 

8. Buf] In the Heb. a strong adversative (2^), marking a 
contrast with the behaviour described in ^•-. — Seek unto God\ as 
an inquirer (Is. 8^^ ii^*' al.), asking humbly for help and 

9-16. A description of the wonderful power and operation 
of God, intended to show lohy Job should lay his case before 
Him. God is wonderful in power and goodness, both generally 
(»), and in particular in fertilizing the thirsty earth (^*'), and in 
adjusting the many inequalities of society, in encouraging and 
lifting up those that are abased, and in defeating the malicious 
devices of the crafty, and rescuing the needy from their clutches 


9. Cf. (^^ (almost the same words). 

10. An example at once of God's power and of His benevo- 
lence : He supplies the thirsty earth with rain and streams of 
water. Cf. Ps. 147^; and (for ^) 104^^ 

II-16. In the moral sphere, God's providence acts by raising 
up and helping the lowly and the mourners, and by rescuing 
the poor from the devices of the crafty. 

Iia. Cf. I S. 2^, Ps. 1 13'^'-. He secures the mourner 
against the avarice of hard-hearted oppressors : cf. 2 K. 4^. 
The Heb. word (np) does not denote a state of mind (sorrowing 
or grieving), but (meaning properly to be dirty) has reference 
to the squalid person and dark attire (head sprinkled with 
ashes, sackcloth, etc.) of a mourner in the East: cf. 2 S. 13^^ 
Est. 4\ 

12 f. He frustrates the malicious devices of the crafty, who 
scheme, for instance, to benefit themselves at the expense of 
the innocent or the poor (cf. Mic. 3^"^ 7^ Is. 32'^ etc.). 

54 THE BOOK OF JOB [V. 12-15. 

'2 Who frustrateth the devices of the crafty, 

So that their hands cannot carry out sound counsel. 
^^ Who taketh the wise in their own craftiness ; 

And the counsel of the tortuous is carried headlong. 
^* In the daytime they meet with darkness, 

And as in the night they grope at noonday. 
^^ But he saveth r the fatherless^ from their sword, 

And the needy from the hand of the mighty. 

12. Frustrate] cf. Ps. 33^°% Is. 44^^. — Carry out sound counsel] 
or, perhaps, achieve success: see phil. n. 

13. Taketh] as in a net or trap. Am. 3*- ^, Ps. 35^ (the same 
word). — I?i their own craftiness] It becomes the means by 
which they are themselves ruined (cf. Ps. 7^^ 57'^ ^^\ Pr. 2(P 28^"). 
— The tortuous] i.e. men who pursue tortuous or crooked ways 
to attain their ends. Cf. Pr. 8^ "there is nothing tortuous or 
crooked in them" (e'|5Vl ^ns; nna pN) ; Ps. 18^^ "With the 
crooked thou showest thyself tortuous " (''J^snn L"i^y Dy) ; Dt. 32^ 
pripnE^ CJ'ijjy "in. — is carried headlong] W\.. hastened {nn^MXy)^ i.e. 
precipitated before it is ripe, and so frustrated. ^^* is the only 
passage of Job quoted in the NT. (i Cor. 3^^ o hpa(xcxo\x^vQ<i 
Tov<; (ro(f)ov<; iv rfj iravovp'^ia avrwv). ffi has KaTa\a/u.^dva)v 
cro0ou9 iv (ppovijcreL {A + avTwv) : St. Paul must, therefore, 
have either translated himself from the Hebrew or used some 
version of the OT. other than ffi. For the implicit criticism of 
"the wise," cp. 372*. 

14. The perplexity and bewilderment of those whom God 
thus thwarts. They are like blind people groping about in the 
bright day. For the thought, cf. 12-^^-, Is. 19^^^-; for the 
figure, 1225a, Dt. 2829, Is. 59i«. 

15 f. And so the poor, whose ruin these "crafty" ones had 
been contriving, are delivered from their clutches, and evil, 
abashed, is obliged to stop her mouth. 

15. Lit. f^ reads : " So he saveth from the sword from their 
mouth. And from the hand of the mighty the needy." The 
imperfectly balanced parallelism shows that there must be 
some error in the text. The error cannot be certainly corrected 
(see phil. n.) ; but the general sense is clear. 

V. 16-19.] ELIPHAZ 55 

1' So the poor hath hope, 

And unrighteousness stoppeth her mouth. 
^"^ Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth : 

And despise thou not the chastening of the Ahnighty. 
^^ For he maketh sore, and bindeth up ; 

He woundeth, and his hands heal 
^^ In six troubles he will deliver thee; 

And in seven no evil will touch thee. 

l6b. Cp. Ps. io7*2b n''D nirsp nhy^^l. These verses place 
before us a strange picture of the social customs of the time. 
But the prophets and the Psalms fully corroborate it. Then, 
as now, in the East, men of any wealth or position, landowners, 
government officials, tradesmen, money-lenders, etc., leave no 
stone unturned to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the 
defenceless and the unfortunate. 

17-26. And so there is a purpose in Job's afflictions : they 
are designed to end in more abundant blessing; and Eliphaz 
draws an idyllic and engaging picture of the happiness awaiting 
Job, if he will but receive God's chastisement aright. The 
passage is a beautiful and striking one, admirably adapted to 
move one differently circumstanced from Job to penitence and 
submission. But Job has noi sinned ; and, naturally, Eliphaz's 
argument makes no impression upon him. 

17. Eliphaz begins by applying to Job the maxim of Pr. 3^^- ^^ 
(quoted Heb. 12^-^), ''Despise not^ my son, the chastening of 
Yahweh, and spurn not His reproof; for whom Yahweh loveth 
He correcteth ; and (treateth) as a father (or, with ffir (cf. ^^^ here), 
and maketh sore, or paineth) the son in whom He delighteth." 

18. For He does not make sore only. He also heals. 
"God's drastic surgery is for the sufferer's higher good, and 
the hand that uses the knife without flinching is also the gentle 
hand that tenderly binds up the wound" (Pe.). Cf. Hos. 6^, 
Dt. 3239; also Is. 3o26b. 

19 ff. An eloqent enumeration of the blessings which Job 
may expect, if he but follows Eliphaz's advice. 

19. Out of all troubles and dangers, however numerous 
they may be, he will be delivered. — Six . . . seven} is an 

56 THE BOOK OV JOB [V. 19-21. 

20 In famine he will redeem thee from death ; 

And in war from the power of the sword. 

21 r From 1 the scourge of the tongue thou shalt be hid ; 

Neither shalt thou be afraid of T desolation ^ when it 


example of the "ascending numeration," of which there are a 
good many cases in the OT. The meaning is, that six would 
be a large number, but it is increased to seven. So in other 
cases : a number which would be complete or sufficient by 
itself is increased — or, if it denotes a sin, for instance, is 
aggravated — by a unit (cp. G-K. 134^). For six and seven (as 
here) see Pr. 6^*^, where seven instances are given in the follow- 
ing vv.^^^~^^^; so with nine and ^en in Sir. 25''; ^wo and three. 
Sir. 50^^; three a.nd/ot(r, Pr. 30^^. In other cases, even when 
instances follow, they are not made to equal either of the 
numbers previously mentioned (so Am. i^"^^). Here, in vv.'^'^~^^, 
there is some appearance of the mention of seven distresses : 
viz. famine, ^°^; war, '^'^^•, slander, 2^^; destruction, ^^^^ destruc- 
tion and dearth, ^2^; wild beasts, ^^^. But if precisely seven 
instances were intended, the text must have suffered ; for two 
of the instances, at least in fR, are identical, viz., destruction, 
21b (niLJ') and ^"^^ (ic) ; and famine and dearth are practically 
identical. Perhaps, however, in any case, one occurrence of 
"destruction" should be removed by reading for nvj' in 2' nsil", 
desolation (Dr.), or T-", a demon (Hoffm.), in which latter case 
we might perhaps compare Ps. gi^. Seven instances were 
certainly not given by the writer, though they may have been 
intended by the interpolator, if Be. Bu. Du. are right in 
regarding ^^ as interpolated, partly on the ground of the 
repetition of destruction and the virtual repetition of hunger, 
partly on the ground that ^^ is more forcible if not anticipated 
by 22b. 

20. In famine and war — those scourges of the ancient East 
— his life will be secure. 

21. The scourge of the tongue] I.e. slander, cahimny. Cf. 
for the figure, Jer. 18^^ " Come, let us smite him (Jer.) ivith the 
tongue." "Slander" is a rather special "distress" as com- 

V. 21-24.] ELIPHAZ 5 7 

22 At destruction and dearth thou shalt laugh ; 

And of the beasts of the earth be thou not afraid, 

23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field ; 

And the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. 

pared with the others instanced. Du. suggests that ** pesti- 
lence," perhaps "I3"n, the only one of the four sore judgments 
mentioned in Ezk. 14^^ and not mentioned here, may once have 
been mentioned instead of the tongue ; Ehrlich suggests that 
tongue stands for tongue (of fire). 

22. The beasts of the earth] Wild beasts were much dreaded 
in Palestine in ancient times, especially if the country was 
depleted of its population [e.g. 2 K. 172''). They form one of 
Ezekiel's " four sore judgments ": " the sword, famine, noisome 
beasts, and pestilence" (14^'). 

23. Poetical figures, implying that stones will not accumulate 
to mar the fields, nor wild beasts attack the folds or trample 
down the crops. Job's flocks and herds, and his harvests, will 
thus be both plentiful and secure ; cf. Hos. 2^'^ ^^^^ (where 
covefiaiit represents the same Heb. word as "league" here). 
The text scarcely requires emendation ; otherwise an old 
suggestion of Rashi's, recently revised by Kohler {Archiv fur 
Religionswissensch., 1910, 75 ff.) and Be. [ZATW, 1915, 63 f.), 
would be attractive : for stones (''33X) of the field they substitute 
elfs, or gnomes ("'33 or "inx), impish beings which, according to 
widespread folklore, may be as injurious as wild beasts to 
agricultural prosperity; the parallel to "beasts of the field" in 
^ would be admirable. For the term sons, or lords, of the field, 
which on this hypothesis would be applied to them, cp. the 
Arabic 'ahluTard, people of the land {see, e.g., Doughty, Arabia 
Deserta, i. 136). Be. suggests that these elfs may be com- 
panions or doubles of the s'^irim (EV. "satyrs": see EBi. 
S.V.). The emendations of Ehrlich [sling-)stones of the devastator 
(nTJ')j and Rxchtev, fatnesses (''30::')' '""^7 ^^ dismissed. 

24-26. His homestead will be prosperous, his offspring 
numerous, and he himself will be gathered to his fathers in a 
ripe and vigorous old age. 

24. K7tow] His knowledge of his security will be the climax 

58 THE BOOK OF JOB [V. 24- VI. VII. 

2* And thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace; 

And thou shalt visit thy homestead, and shalt miss 

2^ Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, 

And thine offspring as the herbage of the earth. 
2^ Thou shalt come to thy grave in firm strength (?), 

As a shock of corn cometh up in its season. 
^'^ Lo this, we have searched it out, so it is ; 

r We have ^ hear(d) it, and note i/iou it for thyself. 
VI. ^ And Job answered and said. 

of his happiness. — Vz'si^] or, inspect, to see that all is right. 
So, e.^\, Jer. 23^; of a shepherd inspecting his sheep. — Shall 
miss nolhing\ Nothing will have been stolen ; no animal will 
have strayed away, or been devoured by a wild beast. 

25. His offspring will be numerous. His lost children (c. i) 
will thus be replaced. — As the herbage of the earth\ For the 
comparison, cf. Ps. 72^^, they shall blossom out of the city like 
the herbage of the earth. 

26. In firm strength^ see phil. n. — Cometh up] to the thresh- 
ing-floor (which was usually situated on an elevation, that the 
wind might blow the chaff away). 

27. This, then, is what we have "sought out" [i.e. arrived 
at as the result of meditating on our experience) ; as we have 
thought it out, do thou take good note of it. Our conclusion 
has not been arrived at suddenly, and is worthy therefore of 
thy attention. 

VI. VII. Job's reply to Eliphaz's first speech. — Address- 
ing first the friends (6^"^'^: note the pi. inS^*"-^) rather than Eliphaz 
alone. Job defends the language of his previous speech (c. 3), 
for which Eliphaz had rebuked him, on the ground of his 
sufferings (^~^), and reiterates his desire to die (S-io) ; for why 
should he live, being without hope (^^~^^), and without help or 
sympathy from his friends in the hour of his need (i*-23^ p j^jg 
friends rather have become his covert accusers : if they must 
accuse, let them at least do so openly (2*"^"). Though innocent, 
his lot is hard — as is human life in general (7^^-) — and pitiable: 
for he is racked with disease, without hope in this brief life or 

VI. 2-4.] JOB 59 

2 O that my vexation were but weighed, 

And my calamity laid in the balances together! 

* For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas : 

Therefore have my words been rash. 

* For the arrows of the Almighty are present with me, 

The venom whereof my spirit drinketh up : 

The terrors of God array (themselves) against me. 

when it is over (7^~^°). Addressing God, probably from 7^, at 
least from 7^ ("remember" is 2nd sing.), and unmistakably 
from 7^2 onwards. Job, after a brief appeal to God's com- 
passion (^"^^), boldly and without restraint (^^) asks why He 
plagues him so continually (^^~^^). 

VI. 2-3. Job only wishes that his "vexation," i.e. (see on 5^), 
the sense of undeserved treatment under which he is smarting, 
and which he has expressed in c. 3, could be weighed against 
his sufferings : it would then quickly appear that it was not 
excessive, and that it formed an abundant excuse for his 
words. — My vexation\ with which Eliphaz (5^) had taunted 
him. — Together\ viz., with my vexation — of course, in the 
other scale. 

3. Heavier than the sand of the sea] for the fig. cf. Pr. 27^ — 
Jiash] Job allows that his words have been rash, but submits 
that his sufferings form a sufficient excuse for them. 

4* Job here — for the first time, distinctly — names God as 
the author of his afflictions. The thought of this is the sting 
which goads him to desperation — not the afflictions as such, 
but his feeling that they are sent upon him undeservedly by 
an angry God : it is on this account that his pains terrify and 
paralyse him. V.* is a tristich, ^ (which is overlong) separating 
the more closely parallel lines ^-'^. Like the similar case in 5^, 
this may be due to some dislocation of the text. Du. combines 
**^ with ''^ (emended : see phil. n. on '^^), thus obtaining two 
possible, though not very good, distichs. The separation of** 
from *° is questionable ; and, '^*, if it really goes with any part 
of*, is connected by " my soul " with the parallel " my spirit " 
in ^^ : in this case the first part of "^^ would require to be suitably 
emended. But though * for the reasons indicated is doubtful 

6o THE BOOK OF JOB [VI. 4-7. 

^ Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass ? 

Or loweth the ox over his fodder ? 
^ Can that which is insipid be eaten without salt? 

Or is there any taste in the slime of purslain ? 

and ^ very strange, no certain reconstruction can be suggested. 
— The arrows of God] "Figures in the poetry of the OT. for 
the sicknesses, pains, and plagues with which He assails men, 
Ps. 38'5(-^> (Ps. 71*^13)^ Dt. 3223, Ezk. 5I6; cf. c. i6i2f-)," Di.— 
Present with me] On the idiom, see phil. n. He is constantly 
and intensely conscious of them. — Venom] lit. /leat; so Ps. 58^, 
Dt. 322'- 33. As a poisoned arrow causes — if nothing worse — 
fever and irritation, so the "venom" of God's arrows — i.e. the 
intolerable thought that they are sent against him unjustly — 
penetrates his being, and disturbs his whole mental condition. 
— Array (themselves) against me] By a change of metaphor he 
picturesquely represents God's terrors as arraying themselves 
against him like a hostile army (cf., for the figure, 10^^ i6^2'-). 
But, transposing two letters, we should, perhaps, read undo 
me (see phil. n.) — the vb. meaning properly, as Arab, shows, 
to make turbid \ and hence fig. destroy the happiness of, taido. 

5-7' Job's complaints are proof of the reality of his pain ; 
does any animal complain when it has its natural and accus- 
tomed food? But Job's sufferings are like insipid and repulsive 
food, which no one can take without complaining. 

5. Wild ass] 39^ n. — Grass] 39^ n. — Fodder] ^"^2 (24^, Is. 
30^* t) is properly mixed fodder ( J 772, to i7iix), fodder com- 
posed of different kinds of food; L.a.t. farrago (of spelt, barley, 
vetches, and pulse) ; Verg. G. 3. 205. 

6. The slime of purslain] a plant, the flower of which, as it 
fades away, resolves itself into an insipid mucilaginous jelly. 
It is this tasteless jelly which is here alluded to. EV. " the 
white of an ^^^^^ : very improbable; see phil. n. \\\ JQR 
XV. 704 f. an identification is suggested of the slime, or saliva 
(rir), of kalldmiith with the insipid liquid exuding from a soft 
kind of cheese termed in Arabic halum or haliuin [Lisanu '/ 
'Arab. xv. 38. 6f.). 

7. Job compares his sufferings to repulsive food. The 

VI. 7-10.] JOB 6 1 

7 My soul refuseth to touch (tliem) ; 

^ It loatheth ' the sickness of my food. 
^ Oh that I mig^ht have my request ; 

And that God would grant (me) the thing- that I 

^ long ' for ! 
^ And that it would please God to crush me ; 

That he would let loose his hand, and snip me off! 
^° So would there still be my comfort ; 

And I would ^ exult ^ in anguish that spareth not : 

For I have not disowned the words of the Holy One. 

*' soul " is in Heb. psychology the seat of desire {e.g. Dt. 24^^, 
Hos. 4^), and, in particular, of appetite {e.g. Dt. 14^6 23^^, 
Is. 29^, Mic. 7\ Pr. 23^, where rSJ h'^1 means a greedy man ; 
c. 33^**, where see note) ; hence its use here. See, further, Dr. 
Par. Psalt. p. 459 f. V.*^ is in detail very uncertain ; see phil. n. 
8-13. The intensity of his sufferings wrings from him the 
passionate cry for death (^~^*'). He has no strength for the 
patience and life which Eliphaz (4^ ^22-26^ i^^^j inculcated (^^"^^). 

8. My requesf] the wish to die, expressed in c. 3. — The 
thing that I long for\ ^ has my hope of death, "with a delicate 
allusion to the * hope ' of deliverance and ultimate happiness 
with which Eliphaz (4^ 5^^) had sought to support him" (Di.). 
But (cp. Pr. 10^*) my desire (see phil. n.) would agree better 
with the feeling which Job had really expressed ; as EVV., by 
the rendering ** the thing that I long for," which is not a 
legitimate rendering of ^|, have unconsciously admitted. 

9. Let loose his hand\ not merely torment him and protract 
his misery, but give his hand free play and slay him outright. 
— Snip me off {''':V'^y)\ implying " cut off the thread of my life " : 
of. 27^ Is. 38^2 a from the thrum he will snip me off {^i]}'ii2'')." 

10. Cof?t/ort] death would speedily end his sufferings. — 
Exult] see phil. n. — Anguish that spareth not\ i.e. the last 
quick agonies of death. 

IOC. If the line is original it means, for I have not dis- 
owned or disregarded God's (moral commands) (cf. 23^^'- ; c. 31) 
— giving the reason (Di.) why God should grant his request, 
and at the same time showing that he has grounds for his 

62 THE BOOK OF JOB [VI. 10-14. 

^^ What is my streng'th, that I should wait? 

And what is mine end, that I should be patient ? 
^2 Is my strength the strength of stones ? 

Or is my flesh of bronze ? 
^^ f Behold,! my help within me is nought, 

And effectual counsel is driven quite from me. 
^* ^ He that withholdeth ^ kindness from his friend 

Forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. 

" vexation " {^) at God's treatment of him, and for refusing to 
listen to Eliphaz's exhortations to admit his guilt. De. Hi. Bu. 
al. render, "Then would it be still my comfort — and I would 
leap in pain that spareth not — //lai I have not disowned the 
words of the Holy One," making the righteousness of his life 
the ground of his consolation in the last agonies of death. 
Du. also thinks the latter meaning was intended — but by an 
interpolator, who desiderated an explication of ^^'^ ; with Sgf. he 
omits '^^'^, thus making '^'^ a distich, not as now a tristich : on 
either view he thinks that '^^ only has meaning if Job believed 
in rewards and punishments after death (cp. Peake). 

II-I3. Job passionately describes his desperate condition. 
His strength is shattered : the only future he can *' hope " for 
is death ; and, how can he avoid being impatient when this is 
so long in coming and releasing him from his pains ? 

II. Thai I should wailP] for the happier future which 
Eliphaz had promised him (s^'''*-). — W/zal is my end, etc.?] 
what hope have I of a happy end of my sufferings, that I 
should be patient under them? — Be patieni\ lit. prolong my 
soul: so the idiom for " impatient " is short of soul', cf. Nu. 21'* 
(RVm.), Zee. 11^, and elsewhere with nn, as Ex. 6^, Mic. 2', 
Pr. 1429, Jb. 21*; and nn Ti^Nl, Ec. f. 

13. Inward (mental) help and resourcefulness also fail him, 
not less than physical strength : he can imagine no means of 
extricating himself from his desperate plight. 

14-23. His friends have failed him in the hour of his need : 
they have not shown him the sympathy that was his due. 

14. Job charges his friends with themselves, by their lack 
of sympathy, forsaking true religion: so SU, whose text is at 

VI. 14-17.] JOB 63 

1^ My brethren have dealt faithlessly like a wady, 
Like the channels of wiidys that pass away : 

1^ Which are turbid by reason of the ice, 

When the snow hideth itself upon them : 

^^ What time they are scorched, they vanish away: 

When it is hot, they are extinguished out of their place. 

least more probable than P| ; the difficult and uncertain text of 
%} is best rendered : Kindness is (due) to him that is in despair, 
And that forsaketh the fear of the Almig-hty ; according- to this. 
Job, with allusion to himself, says that one who is in despair, 
and (in danger of) loosing his faith in the Almighty, deserves 
from his friends, not querulous insinuations of guilt, but help 
and sympathy, to strengthen his failing piety ; and he is 
keenly disappointed at not receiving this from them. But 
against ^, see phil. n. 

15-20. He compares his friends picturesquely to a wady, a 
stream — such as are common in and about Palestine — running 
along a rocky valley, which may be turbid and swollen in 
winter, but completely dry in summer ; and his own disappoint- 
ment to that of a thirsty caravan, journeying hopefully towards 
such a wady, only to find its waters dried up through the heat. 
Cf. for the figure Jer. 15^^ " Wilt thou be to me as a deceptive 
wady" (^ns ^n:) ? 

15. My brethren] so Job here terms the three friends ; cp. 
v.-^, which applies the simile here begun to those whom he is 
addressing. — Channels] or bed, — which, when in summer the 
traveller comes to it, he finds dry. 

16. Hideth itself upo7i them] falls upon them, and disappears 
in them. " The streams of Lebanon," and the high parts of 
Gilead and Bashan, "send down great floods of dark and 
troubled waters in spring, when the ice and snow of their 
summits are melting ; but they dry up under the heat of 
summer, and the track of the torrent, with its chaos of boulders, 
stones, and gravel, seems as though it had not known a stream 
for ages " (Geikie, Holy Land and the Bible (1887), i. 124). 

17. But in the hot summer these wadys, swollen in winter, 
dry up. 

64 THE BOOK OF JOB [VI. 18-20. 

^^ Caravans divert their way; 

They go up into the waste, and perish. 
^^ The caravans of Tema looked, 

The companies of Sheba waited for them. 
2*^ They were disappointed because l^they l had hoped, 

They came thither, and were abashed. 

18. Travelling" companies or "caravans," expecting to find 
water in such wadys, divert their course towards them, but upon 
reaching them find none and perish through thirst (so abandon- 
ing the vocalization of ifl, Ew. Ol. Di. Du. RV.), "go up," 
meaning, in this case, go up into the hills in search of moun- 
tain streams, but only to find everything dried up and desolate. 
But De. Da. Hi. Bu., adhering to fH, less probably render 
" the paths of their way (the course of such streams) wind about 
(the thread of water, to which in summer they are reduced, has 
to make its way round every stone or other obstacle), they 
(the streams) go up into emptiness (evaporate) and disappear." 
On ;inri, waste, see Skinner, Genesis, p. 16; Dr. on Gen. i. 2; 
Lex. 1062b (where, however, the meanings rage, roar, bluster, 
for Aram, xnn must be deleted as due to an oversight : correct 
Levy, ChWBSzb, 530^, hy NHWB iv. 62S). The word may 
denote either an empty waste (Jb. la^"^, Ps. 107^", Dt. 32^°), or 
(as in the second rendering) actual emptiness or (virtual) 
notJiingness (cf. 26'^, Is. 40-^, the judges of the earth he maketh 
as nothingness). 

19. Tema\ a trading Ishmaelite tribe— mentioned in Gn. 
25^^ by the side of Nebaioth, Kedar, and other tribes, as a 
"son" of Ishmael, and also in Is. 21^*, Jer. 25-^. The name 
is still preserved in Teima, the name of a place in N.W. 
Arabia, about 250 miles S.E. of Edom, and the centre of 
trade-routes (cf. Hogarth, Penetration of Arabia (1905), p. 250, 
" evidently of old a more important road-station than it now 
is "), where some interesting inscriptions have been found 
(Cooke, NSI, nos. 69, 70), the longest dating from about the 
5 cent. B.C. — Looked] expectantly and wistfully. The poet, in 
using the past tenses, pictures a particular scene. — Sheba\ i^^. 

20. Job's friends, living like himself on or near the borders 

VI. 20-23.] JOB 65 

2^ "^ So 1 are ye now become unto ' me ' ; 
Ye see a terror, and are afraid. 

22 Did I say, Give unto me ? 

Or, Offer a bribe for me of your substance? 

23 Or, Deliver me from the adversary's hand ? 

Or, Redeem me from the hand of the terrible ? 

of the Arabian desert, would feel the force of the simile. — Were 
dtsappoi?ited] the Heb. idiom is lit. were put to shame, i.e. 
not "felt a sense of shame," but "were disconcerted by the 
frustration of plans and hopes." So frequently, as Ps. 6^1 ^lo^ 
226 (5) 252. 3. 20 oxz. The word is often used of the disappointment 
experienced by those who rely upon false gods, or untrust- 
worthy political friends, as Is. 20* 44^^ Jer. 2^*^. To he abashed 
i^) is often parallel, as Ps. 3526 40^^^ Comp. Is. i29 "and ye 
shall be put to shame ( = be disappointed) on account of the 
oaks ye have desired [not obtaining from them the expected 
help or deliverance], and ye shall be abashed on account of the 
gardens ye have chosen." 

21. Job's friends now fail (disappoint) him in the hour of 
need, like such dried-up wadys (see phil. n.). — Ye see (isnn) a 
terror, and are afraid (iXTn)] notice the assonance in the 
Hebrew: so Zee. 9^, Ps. 40^ 52^ al. The "terror" is Job's 
overwhelming calamity : judging this to be sent upon him by 
God, and to be sent upon him, moreover, as a punishment for 
his sins, they have not the courage to show him sympathy. 

22-23. He had asked nothing very great of his friends, no 
expenditure of money, or deed of valour, for instance, on his 
behalf, but merely sympathy. 

22. A bribe\ in accordance with the too prevalent Eastern 
custom (Is. i23, Mic. 3^^ etc.), to secure his acquittal from a 
luA^^.—Substance'] lit. strength (nb) : so Pr. 510. 

23. He had never asked to be delivered from any situation 
of peril or difficulty : to be rescued, for instance, by arms from 
the hands of brigands, or to be ransomed, whether from 
brigands or from enslavement by a cruel creditor for debt. 
With ^ comp. Jer. 1521 "And I will deliver thee from the hand 
or tne evil, and I will redeem thee from the clutch of the 

66 THE BOOK OF JOB [VI. 23-28, 

'■^* Teach me, and / will hold my peace : 

And cause me to understand wherein 1 have erred. 
25 How "^pleasantl are words of uprightness ! 

But what doth reproving from you prove ? 
526 Dq yg think to reprove words ? 

But the speeches of one that is desperate are for the 

2^ Yea, ye would cast (lots) upon the fatherless, 

And make merchandise over your friend. 
2S Now, therefore, be pleased to look upon me ; 

For surely I shall not lie to your face. 

terrible.'" The "terrible" (p"iy) may be any powerful and 
dreaded oppressor or tyrant, whether native or foreign: 15^0 
2713 (each time !| to "wicked"). Is. 2.z^^-^ 295-20, Ps. 54^ (|| m''% 
Peake suggests that '^ once immediately followed ^3 ; so far 
from ransoming me, you would rather have bartered me away. 
24-30. In answer to Eliphaz's covert insinuations, he claims 
to be told plainly what sins they impute to him. Hitherto they 
have only found fault expressly with his words, which, however, 
were merely wrung from him by his despair (-"). He reproaches 
them for their unfeeling treatment of him (-'^), and beseeches 
them to judge him fairly, 

25. Pleasant\ see phil. n. — Words of tiprightness\ honest, 
straightforward words, such as Job cannot discern in Eliphaz's 
speech. — Reproving from you\ what do your vague and dark 
insinuations prove? 

26. Is it your purpose to reprove — not my life indeed, but 
— my words (those spoken in c. 3) : but the words of one who 
is desperate, such as those were, are for the wind — are quickly 
blown away, so that they need not be taken too seriously 
(cf. 3b). 

27. His friends, he declares, are as heartless as ruthless 
creditors, who would cast lots for the orphan child of a man 
who had been their debtor, in order to sell it into slavery 
(2 K. 4^), or as men who would make a bargain over their 
friend. But see phil. n., and above on ^3, 

28. Be pleased] i.e. Be good enough, or "Please!" His 

VI. 28- VII. 3.] JOB 67 

^^ Turn back, I pray you, let there be no unrig-hteousness ; 

Yea, turn back, my righteousness is still in "^nie'. 
^^ Is there unrighteousness in my tongue? 

Cannot my palate discriminate calamities? 

friends, we may suppose, had turned their eyes from him while 
he had been descanting on their lack of sympathy : so he 
entreats them now to look him in the face, as he can look 
them in the face, and judge from his countenance whether, in 
maintaining his innocence, he is lying to them. — To your face] 
defiantly, as i^^. 

29. Tzirn back] from the unfair course you have adopted : 
do not unjustly assume my guilt. — My righteousness is still in 
me] iiH i?i it; i.e. (Hrz. Di.) in the matter under discussion, 
I am still unconvicted, or (Du.) I am justified in speaking as 
I do, or (Da.) my right is still iii it, i.e. "is here, is present. 
I have a righteous cause." But all these explanations of in 
it are unsatisfactory and lame; and it is better, with Hi. 
Bi.2 Bu. (note) Sgf. Be., to read in me (''D for na), which 
at once yields the suitable and natural sense : I am still 

30. Job insists on the soundness of his moral judgments. 
There is no unrighteousness in (or on) his tongue ; his tongue 
does not, when it declares his innocence, express a judgment 
morally unsound ; and his "palate," the organ of taste (12^^) 
to which his troubles are loathsome (6^^-), has the power of 
distinguishing between "calamities" (v.-), and perceiving 
whether or not they are deserved and just. In maintaining 
that his calamities have been undeserved, he has been guilty 
of no unrighteousness. 

VII. This consciousness of innocence, and of his capacity 
to judge his calamities correctly, makes him feel his position 
the more acutely ; and he breaks forth into a fresh and singu- 
larly pathetic cry of despair on his lamentable and hopeless 

I-3. Life is hard always : his own, vexed by loss of children 
and property, torturing disease, and a burning sense of in- 
justice, hard especially. 

68 THE BOOK OF JOB [VII. 1-3. 

VII. ^ Hath not man a warfare upon earth? 

And are not his days Hke the days of an hireluig'? 
'^ As a servant that is eager for the shadow, 

And as an hireling that looketh for his wages : 
^ So am I made to possess months of emptiness, 

And nig-hts of misery are appointed to me. 

1. JVaT^are] a time of hard service, Hke a campaign, a 
constant struggle with difficulties and hardship, never ceasing 
till the time for which the soldier has been engaged has expired. 
The word is used similarly in 14^*, Is. 40^. — Of an hireling\ a 
hired labourer, whose life is one of unceasing toil, and who has 
constantly to endure the "burden and heat of the day" (Mt. 
20^2). The word might also denote a mercenary (Jer. 46^^) ; 
but 2^ makes the former sense more probable. 

2. A servant\ or slave : a field-labourer is more particularly 
thought oL— For the shadow, etc.] the shades of evening, which 
are so long in coming, but when he can enjoy cool air and rest, 
and when also he will be paid for his day's work. Labourers 
in the East were paid daily: cf. Dt. 24^^ ("in his day" thou 
shalt give him his wages), Mt. 20^. "The point of compari- 
son between Job's life and the day of "the hireling thus lies 
in their common toil and their common longing for the end 
of it" (Da.). 

3. Am made to possess (or inherit^ "A pathetic word, made 
to inherit, through no fault or cause of mine " (Da.^), but by the 
mere arbitrary will of him whose slave I am. — Months of empti- 
ness\ months of uselessness, disappointment, and vexation. 
Xitt* denotes what is hollow, gi'oundlcss, and unsubstantial', and 
it is applied, according to the context, to what is [a) materially 
unsubstantial, i.e. tmreal, or vain, or (b) morally unsubstantial, 
i.e. frivolous, false, or insi^icerc. Cf. for [a) Ex. 23^ Thou shalt 
not take up a groundless report, Jer. 18^^ ( = unreal gods), Ps. 
3i7(6) <<2^7irea/ vanities" (of false gods), 60^^^^^' for vain is the 
help of man, 89*^^^'^^ O remember how short my time is: for 
what vanity (uselessness, emptiness of life, disappointment) 
hast thou created all the children of men ! and for {b) Ps. 12^® 
( = insincerity), 24"* ( = what is either frivolous or insincere), 

VII. 3-10.] JOB 69 

^ When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise? 

But the evening is long; and I am full of tossings to 
and fro unto the (morning) twilight. 
^ My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust ; 

My skin hardens, and then runneth (again). 
^ My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, 

And are come to an end without hope. 

26* men of unreality {i.e. insincere or frivolous), 41''^^^^ ( = in- 
sincerity), 119^'^ : so Ex. 20'' Thou shalt not take up the name 
of Yahweh thy God for unreality {i.e. use it for any false or 
frivolous object). Cf. on 15^^. — Nights of misery] lit. of toil 
(Afy) : see on 3^''. The "months" indicate the duration, the 
"nights" the intensity, of his sufferings (Pe.). 

4-6. A graphic description of the condition to which his 
malady has brought him : his wearisome, restless nights, his 
loathsome disease, his days ebbing quickly (cp. '^^), without 
hope of recovery or relief (cp. ''^), to their close. 

4. When shall /arise. ^] When will it be morning.^ (Dt. 28^'^). 
— But the eveni77g is long ; and\ or, since the Hebrew is unusual 
and to gain a better parallelism, very slightly emending (see 
phil. n.), And as often as evening {comes). 

5. His ulcers breed worms, form a hard crust, and then 
break out and run again. 

6a. Cp. 9^^ My days are swifter than a post. On ancient 
weaving, from which the simile in ^ is derived, see Kennedy 
in EBi. iv. 5276-5290 (with illustrations). Ibn Ezra notes that 
'' may continue the simile of * if nipn be given the sense it 
has in Jos. 2^^: and so Marshall renders ^, "They come to an 
end for lack of thread " : but this would require 'h^'O rather 
than DSt<n. 

7-IO. He turns pathetically to God, beseeching Him to 
remember how brief his life is, and to have compassion on 
him for the short time that remains before he descends for ever 
into the grave. In Sheol, according to Hebrew ideas, there 
was no fellov'ship with God: the Shades, in their dreary, shadow- 
like existence, were "cut off from God's hand," and could neitlicr 
praise Him, nor experience His benefits (Ps. 6'' 88^- ^^~>^, Is. 38"^). 

70 THE BOOK OF JOB [VII. 7-21. 

"^ Oh remember that my life is wind : 

Mine eye will no more see good. 
® The eye of him that seeth me will behold me no more : 
Thine eyes will be upon me, but I shall not be. 

^ A cloud Cometh to an end and vanisheth away ; 

So he that goeth down to Sheol cometh up no more. 
*" He returneth no more to his house, 

Neither doth his place know him any more. 

7. Remember] the vb., like the pron. in ^, is 2nd sing., 
addressed not to Eliphaz (cp. 26^ n.) but to God : but for what 
follows, 7^"^ (like 6^*"^'') could be regarded as still addressed to 
the friends ; as it is, these verses are best regarded as, if not 
transitional in the tone of soliloquy, the beginning of the 
address to God with which the speech most clearly closes 
(^2-21). — Wind] a symbol of what is transient and unsubstantial: 
Ps. 78^^ Is. 41^^, Qoh. i^^ etc. — Good] i.e. happiness, pro- 
sperity: "good" (nio), as Ps. 4'^ 34^^ (each time with "see"), 
Jb. 21^^ 36^^ and frequently: so also nniti, 9^^ 21^5 al. 

8. Soon * none will behold him any more : ^ even God, if 
He should wish to show him some kindness, will be unable to 
find him. The v. is absent from fflr, repeats the words "eye" 
(twice) and "see" used in '^, anticipates '^^ and the close of the 
speech i^^), and separates ^ and ^ which go well together ; it 
may, therefore, be an addition to the original text (so Bi. Bu. 
al.). '^strictly rendered reads: the eye of him that seeth me 
will not behold me ; the translation above presupposes that 
"seeth me" means seeth me now, perhaps it rather means 
looks for me in the ftcture, though 20'^ is scarcely decisive, and 
in passages such as 2 S. 13^, 2 K. 8-^ (cp. Lex. s.v. nx"), 6 d), 
cited as justifying the rendering of HN") by look for, the meaning 
is not exactly the same, not even in Gn. 39^^. 

9. 10. No return from Sheol is possible (lo^^). 
lOb. So Ps. 103^^^ ; cf. also c. 20^. 

II-2I. A passionate remonstrance with God. Why does 
He thus torture him, and make his life a burden to him? Is 
not man too insignificant to be thus persecuted by his Maker? 
Why does He not at once pardon his transgression, and take 


VII. 11-14.] JOB 

^^ I also will not refrain my mouth ; 

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit ; 

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 
^2 Am I a sea, or a sea-monster, 

That thou settest a watch over me? 

pity on him ? Job goes here far beyond the point he had 
reached in c. 3. There, though he had complained bitterly of 
his lot, he had said little against God. Here he openly charges 
Him with being his tormentor, and ironically taunts Him with 
turning His care for him into a means of persecuting him. 

11. I also] As God shows no regard for man, but lets him 
pass from a life of misery into a night of darkness, so he also 
will show no regard for Him by restraint of speech, but he will 
give full vent to his complaint. The "also" expresses the 
correspondence of one action to another, especially in retalia- 
tion (the □: " correlativum " : Lex. i6^b): cf. Hos. 4**, Jer. 41'-^, 
Ps. 52^(5) (EVV. " likewise ") 7122. 

12. He asks indignantly. Am I, frail mortal that I am, like 
a dangerous monster to be guarded strictly by its keeper? 
Am I like the turbulent sea, threatening, when its angry waves 
arise, to overpass the barriers imposed on it by God (cf. 38^"^^ ; 
Jer. 5223125, Ps. 104^)? Or, with an allusion to the dragon 
Tiamat, — the personification of the unruly powers of chaos, 
and more or less identified with the roaring waters of the huge 
primaeval abyss (cf. Gn. i2*^), — who, as Babylonian mythology 
told, had been slain by the Creator Marduk ^ (cf. 9^^), Am la 
sea-monster, thai thou settest a watch over m.e, lest I should do 
some great damage in the world (cp. 38^-^2 n.)? — Sea-monster] 
pn, a serpent, sometimes of a land-reptile, Ex. ■79-10.12^ j3j_ 
32^2, Ps. 91^2 ; more often of a sea- (or river-) monster, Gn. i^^, 
of the Egyptians or Pharaoh under fig. of a crocodile, Ps. 74^^, 
Ezk. 322 (rd. pjn for C^n), of a mythological or imaginary 
dragon, Is. 27^ 51^, Jer. 51^*. 

13-14. The methods used by God to keep Job harmless : 
when he looks to the natural rest of sleep to give him some 

' Cf. the Fourth Tablet of the Creation Epic (Rog-ers, Cuneiform Paralleh 
to the OT., 1912, p. 24 ff.), esp. 1. 95 ff. 

72 THE BOOK OF JOB [VII. 13-18. 

^2 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, 

My couch shall ease my complaint ; 
^* Then thou scarest me with dreams, 

And terrifiest me through visions : 
^^ So that my soul chooseth strangling", 

And death rather than my "^pains^ 
^^ I refuse (it) ! not for ever would I live ! 

Desist from me ! for my days are (as) a breath. 

relief, then He scares him with terrifying dreams — such as are 
said to be one of the accompaniments of elephantiasis. 

13. Ease] lit. bear in, i.e. help in bearing: so Nu. 11^'' 
Heb. — Complaint] (sad) musing : see 9^'^ n. 

15. And so he prefers death to the continuance of these 
intolerable sufferings. Stranglitig (cf. the verb, 2 S. 17-^), i.e. 
suffocation, may be mentioned with allusion to the sense of 
choking, which is often experienced in elephantiasis. For my 
pahis ("nn^iy) (9^^, Ps. 147^), i?E has my bones (TllD^'y), which, if 
correct, will be equivalent to what we should express by this 
skeleton : but the explanation is forced ; and it is better chang- 
ing one letter to read m,y pains. 

16. He exclaims passionately that he cares nothing for life : 
he only entreats God to leave him at peace for the short time 
that he has still to live. — I refuse {^\\.)\ i.e. my life : the object 
must be supplied from the context; cf. 9-^ " I refuse my life." 
— Not for ever] would he live, even if he could, such a life as his 
has become : on these terms life is intolerable to him, though 
on other terms only the brevity of life would be distressing 
(6a^. — Desist] or cease (Is. i^^. Am. 7^), forbear (iS*^, i K. 22^, 
Zee. 11^^, and often): exactly as here, Ex. 14^2 cease, desist 

from us = let us alone. — A breath] Is. 57^^ *'« breath will take 
them": Heb. ^3n, also, like "wind" (^), a fig. of what is 
transient: usually in EVV. rendered zr^wzVr : Ps. ogC. 7. 12 (5. 6. 11) 
5210.10(9.9) 1444 (all, of man); Qoh. i^ xi'hir\ bn, ''vanity of 
vanities," and constantly in that book: also in other books of 
what is unsubstantial and unreal, as false gods, Dt. 32-^ al. 

17-18. A bitter parody of Ps. 85<*) " What is man, that thou 
art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest 

Vn. 17-19.] JOB 'J 2, 

^^ What is man, that thou magriifiest him, 

And that thou directest thine attention to him, 

^^ And that thou visitest him every morning". 
And triest him every moment? 

^® How long wilt thou not look away from me, 

Nor let me alone while I swallow down my spittle? 

him?" "The Psalmist, impressed with the wonders of the 
starry heavens, asks what is man that God should be so mindful 
of him, and place him in a position of such high authority in 
the world. Job asks, not why God should lavish on a creature 
so insignificant such honour and thoughtful care, but why he 
should be subjected to attention so alert and suspicious, as if 
he could really be of any importance. Job's morbid imagina- 
tion distorts the unsleeping care of God into a maddening 
espionage. . . . How petty His character must be, since He 
condescends to torture one so frail, and harry him with per- 
secution so untiring " (Peake). 

VJ. Magnijiest\ i.e. ironically, think much of, consider of 
importance, viz. by counting him worthy of constant (unfriendly) 
attention. — Directest thine attention to him\ lit. settest thine heart 
upon, a. common idiom and meaning, paj' heed to, consider 
(Ex. 7^^, I S. 4"^, Ps. 48^*^^^^; and with a synonym iySqni) for 
"set," Jb. i^ 2^ al.). EVV. set thiyie heart upon suggests a 
false sense ; for in ordinary English it would mean set thy 
affection on: but in Heb. psychology the "heart" is not the 
organ of affection, as in English (cf. "heart-less"), but of 
understanding {c.i. 8^° 36^) : so 3^ pN (Hos. 7^^) is not "heart- 
less," but without understanding, or as we might say collo- 
quially " without a head," or " without brains " (the "head" 
in Heb. is never the seat of thought or intelligence). 

18. Visitest him\ not, as Ps. 8^, with marks of providential 
care, but to prove him : cp. the parallel term here, and the 
same vb. (with the H) in 31^'*. — Triest] i.e. test or prove, Gn. 
42^^- 1^ : of God, as testing by His all-seeing scrutiny the 
thoughts and character of men, Ps. 710(0) jj4 1^8262 1392^^ eras 
proving man's faith or obedience by discipline, Ps. 66^*^ 81^ ^^\ 

19. How long. Job indignantly asks, will God continue to 

74 THE BOOK OF JOB [Vn. 19-21. 

2° If I have sinned, what do I unto thee, 

O thou keeper of men ? 
Why hast thou set me as a thing for thee to strike against, 

So that I am a burden to myself? 
2^ And why dost thou not take away my transgression, 

And cause mine iniquity to pass away? 

direct upon him incessantly His malevolent glance? — Look 
awav] so 14®, Ps. 39^*^^^^; cf. Is. 22*. — Le^ me alone] more 
exactly, let me drop or let me go (Ca. 3* ^SQiN ^h) vnmx ; Jb. 
27^, Pr. 4^^) ; often in a favourable sense, Dt. 4^^ nS ^S"!! N? 
in'nE'% 31^" ^j Jos. 1^. — Till I sxvallo-w, etc.] a proverbial ex- 
pression =/6'r a moment: Schult. ad loc. (Ges. Thes. 213) 
cites the Arabic expression, "Let me swallow my spittle" 
(abli'iii rikt), meaning, "Wait a moment." 

20, 21. Even assuming that he has sinned, how, he asks, 
can this in any way injure God, that He should continue to 
persecute him ? Job denies consistently that he has ever sinned 
to a degree that would justify his extraordinary suflFerings : 
why then, seeing his sins can be but venial ones, will He not 
forgive him before forgiveness is too late ? 

20. The rhythm of °-^ is strange: Be.'^ om. — What do I 
unto thee P] What harm do I do Thee by my sin? God is too 
holy, too exalted, to be affected by any of man's actions, 
whether good or bad (22-^* 35^~^)- — O thou keeper of men\ the 
verb, used often of God's fatherly care and protection of His 
servants (Is. 27^, Ps. 12^^'^^ 31^*^23) gj-^,^ [EVV. preserve\j is here, 
with bitter irony (cp. ^'^'•), applied so as to yield a title of 
reproach, to denote God as one who " keeps," or guards, men 
closely, in order to prevent them escaping from Him, and to 
note their actions. — Thing to strike against] an object of 
deliberate and persistent attack. Cf. the cogn. verb in i K. 
225.29.31 g|-Q_ (EVV. fall upon). — So that I am a burden to 
myself?] i.e. weary of myself and of my life. For the ex- 
pression, cf. 2 S. 15^^. On the reading to thee, see phil. n. 

21. If he has inadvertently sinned, why, since his sin cannot 
affect God, does He not pardon it at once, instead of waiting 
to do so till it is too late? — Take atoay] in EVV. usually 

VII. 21 -VIII. 3.] BILDAD 75 

For now shall I He down in the dust ; 

And thou wilt seek me diligently, but I shall not 


VIII. '■ Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, 
2 How long- wilt thou speak these things ? 

And (how long will) the words of thy mouth be 

(like) a mighty wind? 
^ Doth God pervert judgment ? 

Or doth the Almighty pervert justice ? 

rendered pardon or forgive, as Gn. 50^'^, Ex. 32^^. — Cause . . . 
io pass away\ as 2 S. 12^^ 24^^, Zee. 3'*. — A^ow] i.e. immediately. 
— Lie down in the dust\ 21^^: cp. 19^^ n. — Seek me diligently\ 
a single word in the Heb., occurring twelve times in poetry, 
and implying diligent, careful, or earnest search. Job still 
believes, in spite of all that he has said, that God is a God of 
love, who will one day seek earnestly to renew His former 
communion with His servant, and visit him again with His 
favour, but he will have passed into Sheol, and it will be too 

VIII. Bildad's first speech. — In spite of Job's violent 
accusations, God is not unjust (2-^): Job's children have died 
an untimely death it is true, but that was because they were 
wicked (*) ; but Job himself still lives, and, if he is really 
righteous, God's justice will restore, and more than restore, his 
former prosperity ^~''). Let Job learn from the experience of 
past generations (S-ioj t^^t God does not suffer the wicked to 
enjoy any continuing prosperity (^'^~^®), nor ever subjects to 
continuing adversity the class to which Job claims to belong — 
that of the perfect (20-22). 

2. Cp. iS- (Bildad's second speech). — These things\ z'.g. such 
things as these, — especially the charge that God assails him 
unjustly (7^2-20^ _ — Like a mighty wind] i.e. at once violent and 

3. An indignant retort; God does not, as Job declares, 
rule the world unjustly. As their position in the Heb. shows, 
"God" and "the Almighty" are the emphatic words in the 
sentence: God, the Almighty, cannot pervert justice; what 


* If thy children have sinned against him, 

Then he hath delivered them into the hand of their 


^ \i thou wilt seek diligently unto God, 

And make thy supplication to the Almighty ; 

has happened to Job cannot be unjust, because it comes from 

4. Illustration of God's j'ustice on its negative side: as God 
cannot do injustice, the death of Job's children is evidence of 
their sin. Bildad says if, from a desire to spare Job, but he 
means Because. The allusion to i^^ is obvious, and is not to 
be, and is not, avoided by making ^"^^ protasis, and, omitting 
^'^j making the apodosis begin at ^° (Ehrlich). The conclusion 
is, of course, fallacious ; for though it is true that God does 
nothing unjustly, it Is not true, as the friends throughout tacitly 
assume, that the sole principle by which God is guided in His 
dealings with man is that of retributive justice. — Delivered them, 
etc.] that they might suffer the punishment, which it would 
naturally bring with it. For the thought, cf. Is. 64^ ^'^^ RVm. 
(reading 'I3;!.^cri for liJlon) ; for the quasi-personlfication of trans- 
gression, Nu. 32-2 (n.). — Into the ha7id\ cp. i^^ n. 

5-7. Job had suffered, but not to the extent that his children 
had ; his life had been spared : hence, if he will but turn to 
God — as Eliphaz also had exhorted him to do (5^) — if he Is 
only, as he maintains, pure and upright, God will interpose on 
his behalf, and restore him to greater prosperity than ever. 
Bildad speaks with moderation and friendliness. From the 
severity of Job's sufferings he might (upon his principles) have 
inferred, and undoubtedly did Infer, that he had sinned greatly ; 
but he leaves this inference unsaid. And in ^, though the 
condition. If thou art pure, etc., cannot, in the belief of the 
friends, be satisfied by Job, he still assumes it, and promises 
him, if it is true, a favourable issue, hoping that Job will be 
thus indirectly brought to see that, since God does not repel, 
or (■'^°) cast off, the righteous, and he is cast off, and, as Bildad k 

expects, will remain cast off, he is not himself as righteous as 
he maintains himself to be. 

VIII. 5-8.] BILDAD 77 

^ If thou art pure and upright ; 

Surely now he will arouse himself on thy behalf, 

And restore the habitation of thy righteousness. 
^ And thoug-h thy beginning was small, 

Thy latter end will be exceeding great. 
8 For inquire, I pray thee, of the former generations, 

And apply thyself to that which their fathers have 

searched out : 

5. Thoii\ emphatic, in opposition to his children. — Seek 
eamestly\ 7^^. 

6. Arouse himself \ interpose actively: cf. Ps. 3523 <^ Arotcse 
thyself and awake to my judgment." — Restore] properly make 
ivhole^ complete, often in the sense make whole by payment, pay 
in full, make good (Ex. ai^^-^e 222(3). 11(12)^ l^. 24I8J. ffi airo- 
KaTa(JTi)(TeL: cp. the Syr. ^N • ^ (Pa.) in Mt. 17^1 koI airo- 
Karaarria-et TrdvTa. — The habitation of thy righteousness] the 
habitation which, by its prosperity, will be evidence of the 
righteousness of its possessor. The "habitation " (5^ n.) must 
be pictured as a homestead in the country with numerous slaves 
and abundant herds and flocks, such as is described in i^-s. 

7. Keeping closer to the Hebrew idiom we may render : 
And so thy beginning, i.e. thy former estate, will be (seem) 
small in comparison with what thou wilt enjoy then, and thy 
latter end (the closing years of thy life) will be exceeding great. 
In these words the poet allows Bildad to utter a prophecy, the 
fulfilment of which is recorded in 42^2. <« And Yahweh blessed 
the latter end of Job more than his beginning." 

8-10. Cp. 15^^"^^ (Eliphaz). The doctrine which Bildad 
propounds is no new one, derived from the ignorance of mere 
creatures of yesterday (v.'^) : it is based upon the experience 
and research of the immemorial past. 

8. Ifiquire, etc.] cp. Dt. 32' '\ — The fonner generations] the 
Hebrew phrase is sing. (nL"X-i in): hence EV. "the former 
age " ; but the reference is not to some particular generation in 
the past as, for example, as some have suggested, the genera- 
tion of such men as Methuselah, who lived vastly longer lives 
than the long lives of Job and his friends, who themselves 


' (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, 
Because our days upon earth are a shadow :) 

belong to the patriarchal period. But the whole past of man- 
kind is regarded as a single generation (nn) ; and this genera- 
tion is immeasurably more ancient than individuals like Job. 
The phrase is virtually equal to "antiquity" in the phrase 
"the voice of antiquity," as the antithetical phrase fiiriN "in, 
the latter generatioyi, is virtually equal to " posterity " (in such a 
phrase as " the judgment of posterity ") in Ps. 48^* 78*- ^ 102^^ (i^^ 
(II "people yet to be created"), and, with the article in prose, 
in Dt. 29^^. The "former generation " is the generation con- 
taining all the former (people: □"'JK'xn); the "latter generation," 
the generation containing all the latter (people), mankind past 
and future being divisible into two groups — the former and the 
latter (people : Qoh. i^^). Men living at any particular moment 
are in touch with this former generation, and can ask it, now 
hoary aged, for its wisdom, as they are also in touch with the 
youthful generation to come, and can pass on to it in its child- 
hood what they have learnt from the past (Ps. 48^"^). But if 
their fathers is correctly read in ^^ this quasi-personification of 
the entire past of mankind is resolved in the parallel line, and 
the appeal is to the fathers of those who composed the later 
individuals among the " former people " ; to some degree, though 
not entirely parallel, is the combination of "the latter genera- 
tion" and "their sons" in Ps. 78^ — not entirely parallel, for 
there the insertion of the parallel term "sons yet to be born " 
eases the transition. But the fathers (S), or 07ir fathers 
(see phil. n.) would be a stricter parallelism; cp. "the latter 
generation, your sons " in Dt. 2921. — Apply thyself to\ Heb.ySlx 
{thv mind) to \ but we should perhaps read attend to (see 
phil. n.). 

9. Left to ourselves we shortlived individuals know nothing; 
but we can receive the knowledge of the past. Bildad's position 
is that what is true is not new, and what is new is not true ; 
that Job is wrong, because he is propounding a monstrous new 
doctrine ; and Bildad right, because he is simply repeating an 
old doctrine, so old that it must be true. Peake objects that 

Vni. 9-19. J BILDAD 79 


Shall not they teach thee, and say to thee, 
And bring forth words out of their understanding? 

"it is the heirs of all the ages who are the * true ancients,' and 
each generation adds its own quota to the stock, the former 
ace beinsr less wise than the most recent " : this is excellent 
philosophy, but questionable exegesis. The contrast in Bildad's 
mind is between modern individuals and the whole past of 
mankind ; and he conveniently forgets, after the manner of 
traditionalists, that that past, too, was composed of individuals, 
that the oldest doctrine was once new, and that novelty and 
antiquity are alike irrelevant as tests of truth. — Know nothing\ 
Heb. and do not know, the vb. to know being used absolutely, 
as in 34^ (where the part. ** (Ye) that know," is parallel to 
"(Ye) wise"), and, negatived as here, Is. 44^, Ps. 73^-. — Because 
our days . . . are a shadow\ cp. 14^, Ps. 102^^ 109^^, Qoh. 6^^ 
8^^, Wis. 2^, all of which passages the present would more 
closely resemble if we read, And our days . . . are like a shadow 
(^W1 for ^if •'D : so S). 

10. They\ the pronoun is independently expressed in the 
Hebrew, and therefore emphatic. — Otii of their iinderstanding\ 
as their position in the Hebrew shows, the emphatic words in 
the clause. Words of tinder standing (37, heart: see on 7^'^) 
are theirs, in opposition to the empty ill-considered words of 

Job (V.2). 

II-19. The teaching of the ancients, cast by the poet into 
his own words, and expressed in imagery, drawn from plant- 
life, so common in this book, and the fragile spider's web. 
And first (^^"^^) the rapid ruin of those who forget God, and are 
deprived of His sustenance and support, is compared to the 
speedy collapse of some lofty water-reed, when suddenly de- 
prived of water. The allusions to the papyrus and reed-grass, 
which are for the most part referred to in connection with 
Egypt, may be due to the poet's knowledge of, or personal 
acquaintance with, Egypt ; but in view of the growth of 
papyrus (at least in modern times) in the Jordan valley, and of 
the references to papyrus in Is. 35'^ (if the text may be trusted) 
and (probably) to the reed-grass in Hos. 13^^, this is not certam. 


^^ Will the papyrus rise up proudly without mire ? 

Will the reed-g'rass gfrow without water? 
^2 Whilst it is yet in its g"reenness, without being cut down, 

Before any other herb it withereth. 
^^ So is the ^ end ^ of all that forget God ; 

And the hope of the godless man perisheth : 
^* Whose confidence is cut off, 

And whose trust is a spider's web. 

11. Papyrus\ Hebrew ^ome', Ex. 2^, Is. 18^ 35'^ t. A tall 
reed, consisting of a bare stem, ten feet or more in height with 
a large tuft of leaves and flowers at the top (see illustration in 
Tristram, NHB \2\y O"* EBi. 3557), abundant in ancient Egypt, 
but now extinct there and found only on the banks of the 
"Blue" and "White" Nile. It also grows in the Jordan 
valley, especially in the Huleh swamps (Post in DB iv. aia**). 
— Mire\ or s7oa}npy ground: n^3, 40^1 {RWV.feii), Ezk. 47^^! 
[miry place) ; cf. J*3, Jer. 38^^!. — Reed-grass] Heb. 'a/m, Egypt. 
ahu (from aha, to be green): so Gn. 412- is f ( + according to 
some, Hos. 13^^); and in the form a-)(6L in ffi Gn. 412.3.18.19^ 
Is. 19'^, Sir 40^^; and Jb. 8^^. See, further, EBi. i^2>^f. 

12. His greenness] cf. Ct. 6^^ f -'HiH ''2N, the fresh, green 
shoots of the wady ; and the Aram. '^*33X, fruit, Dn. 4^- 1^- ^^ 
(12. 14. 21) I . in 3: ^'3N', Gn. f 2\.— It withereth] in its full luxuri- 
ance, without being cut off, merely by the withdrawal of its 

13. Such is the fate of those that forget God. — The end] 
as '^. 1^ has Mg /«///.? (mmx) ; but "end" ((5) is much more 
suitable : so Me. Bi. Sgf. Gr. Bu. Klo. Du. — The godless tnan] 
Heb. hanSf: Jb. 8^^ 13^^ 15^* 17^ 20^ 27** 34^° 36^^; elsewhere 
only Is. 9^''^^''^ 10^ 33^*, Ps. 35!'^, Pr. ii^t, with derivatives in 
Is. 32^, Jer. 23!^!. The cognate verb means to be profane, 
Jer. 23!^ or polluted, especially by bloodshed, idolatry, or other 
grave offence. Is. 24^, Jer. 3^ al. With ^, cf. Pr. 10-^ " atid the 
hope of the wicked perisheth." 

14. Whatever he relies upon to secure his position, and 
protect him against ruin, fails him. Line ^ slightly emended, 
to the great improvement of the parallelism, reads: " Whose 

VIII. 14-18.] P.ILDAD 8 T 

^^ He leaneth upon his house, but it standeth not : 

He holdelh fast thereby, but it endureth not. 
^^ Full of sap is he before the sun, 

And his shoots go forth over his garden. 
1^ His roots are twined over the heap, 

He ^ pierceth 1 the place of stones. 
^^ If one destroy him out of his place, 

Then it will deny him (saying-), I have not seen thee. 

confidence (on) gossamer is (placed), see phil. n. — Trust] i.e. 
object of trust, as iS^* Heb., 312^ Jer. 48'3, Ezk. 291^ (EVV. 
confidence). — A spider s weh\ Heb. house. An obvious emblem 
of fragility : cf. 27^^ n.. Is. Sq'*' **. Hirzel compares aptly Qor. 
2g40 <( jj^g likeness of those who take to themselves patrons 
beside God is as the likeness of the spider who taketh to herself 
a house ; and verily the frailest of houses is the spider s house 
[baitti 7 'ankabiiti).'' 

15. Development of, or (Bu.) a gloss on, ^*^. His own 
"house" is as fragile as the spider's: though he leans upon 
it, and holds it firmly, it aftbrds him no support. " House " is 
naturally to be taken here in a broad sense, including his family, 
establishment, and the resources implied in the possession of 
an estate. 

16-18. Another comparison to a plant. Such a man is like 
a creeper, firmly rooted in a garden, thriving in the warmth of 
the sun, and spreading luxuriantly, which, however, if it is once 
destroyed, is utterly and for ever forgotten. The figure and 
the thing signified are blended into one by the poet : the sub- 
ject of the description is the godless man, conceived and pictured 
as a plant. 

16. Full of sap] properly moist ; cf. the cognate verb, 24^ 
(EVV. are wet) f. — Before the sun] under the fostering heat of 
the sun. 

17. Pierceth\ Or (with other points) taketh hold of', see 
phil. n. fH beholdeth. — Place of stones] questionable : see 
phil. n. 

18. Destroy] lit. s7vallow up, fig. for entire annihilation. So 
2^ (see n.) al. The unnamed subject may be either "he" 


82 THE BOOK OF JOB [VIII. 18-22. 

^^ Behold, that is the joy of his way, 

And out of the dust another spring 'eth'. 

^'^ Behold, God rejecteth not a perfect man, 

And taketh not hold of the hand of evil-doers 

21 He will yet fill thy mouth with laughter, 

And thy lips with shouting. 

22 They that hate thee will be clothed with shame, 

And the tent of the wicked will be no more. 

(God), or l^y;r\ ( = " one ") ; see on y"^ phil. n. ; and add 
E. Konig, Stilisdk. Rhctorik. Poetik, p, 115. — I have nof seeti 
thee\ a formula of emphatic repudiation (Dt. 33"). 

19. That is the Jo V of his 7vav\ i.e. of his path in life: the 
"joy," of which he was himself so proud, and which may have 
been envied by others, is shortlived, and comes abruptly to an 
end. The expression is used with a touch of irony. There is 
no need to correct the text (see phil. n.). — Out of the dust 
another springeth] the figure of the plant is still maintained. 
He is not missed : his place is immediately filled by another, 
just as though he had never been, npy, to spring up (as a plant), 
Gn. 2^' etc. ; fig. of men, as Is. 44^. "isy, dust, poet, for the 
soil forming the surface of the earth, as 5*^ 14^ 28- 30^ 4125(33)^ 
Is. 2^^- ^^. The fall of the godless man, here described, from 
the height of prosperity to the direst adversity resembles that 
of Job ; and Bildad, though he does not say it in so many 
words, no doubt desires Job to consider whether his own mis- 
fortune may not be due to the same cause. 

20-22. But God does not forsake the righteous, not even 
when he is in adversity, if he only turns to Him for help (^"^) : 
if, therefore, Job is really blameless (^), he may rest assured 
that he will again be blessed with prosperity. 

20. Perfect] 1^ n. — Taketh not hold, etc.] to support him: 
the figure, as Is. 41^^ 42^ al. 

21. Development of 20a : happiness is still in store for Job. 
— Befilled with laughter] Ps. i262ir3 pmt^ N^D'' rN*. — Shouting] 
i.e. joyous shouting : op. the cognate vb. in 38", Is. 44-^. 

22. Development of 20b; Job's enemies, who delight in his 
misfortune, wiil be filled with disappointment when they see 

VIII. 22 -IX. 4.] JOB 83 

him ag^ain prosperous ; and disaster will overtake the wicked. 
Bildad's last words are double-edg-ed. On the one hand, in so 
far as he seems to identify Job's enemies with the wicked, he 
implies that he does not class Job among- them; on the other 
hand, the last line suggests ominously that it is just Job's tent 
which is already no more. — Clothe themselves with shame] the 
figure, as Ps. 2S~^ ^og-^ (ns5'2) 122^^'.— The tent] 5-^ 

IX. X. Job's reply to Bildad's first speech.— Though 
there is no unambiguous address to Bildad in particular, or to 
the three friends together (ct. 6--"^^), g^"^! ni^y be regarded as 
the direct reply to Bildad, opening, as it does, with reference 
to Bildad's opening words, and in -"'^* giving- direct contradic- 
tion to his closing words in 8-^~". But in the remainder of the 
speech Job, disregarding the friends (as in the latter part of 
his previous speech, c. 7), is rather musing- to himself on God's 
mysterious ways (g^^^- 32-35^^ g^j^^j considering how he will ques- 
tion Him (lo^*^-), or directly addressings himself to God {g^^^^^'^). 
In the direct reply Job takes up Bildad's conception of the 
divine might and justice. Certainly God is irresistible in His 
might (9^"^^) : if, then, to be almighty (cp. 8^ n.) is to be just, 
if justice is whatever an almighty being- may do, God is just 
(g^^-), and certainly, if He insists on holding Job to be guilty. 
Job cannot establish his innocence over against Him (g^**'"^). 
On the other hand, Bildad is quite wrong in maintaining {8~^~^^) 
that God's might or justice was discriminative ; it is not : for 
innocent and guilty alike go down before it (g—"-*). In the 
remainder of his speech Job muses on the brevity of life (g^^-s? 
jq20-22^^ on the futility of attempting to establish his innocence 
against God's determination to hold him guilty and treat him 
with severity (g""'^^^), and on the apparent contradictoriness of 
God's actions in thus treating him (lo^""'^- ^*"i"), after having 
lavished such care on him both before {^'^^) and after (^-) birth. 
Why did He bring him into life (lo^^^-)? Why cannot He at 
least leave him alone for the few days of life that remain (20-22^ p 

IX. 2-4. Job ironically concedes Bildad's position (8^) that 
God never acts unjustly, and consequently whatever He does 
is right : man is powerless before Him ; what chance has he to 
prove himself innocent, when God, who sets Himself the 

84 THE BOOK OF JOB [IX. 2-10. 

IX. ^ And Job answered and said, 
- Of a truth I know that it is so : 

And how can a man be just with God ? 
^ If he were to desire to dispute with him, 

He could not answer him one of a thousand. 
* Wise in heart, and mighty in strength — 

Who (ever) hardened (himself) against him, and 

prospered ? 

standard of righteousness, and is irresponsible and omnipotent, 
is resolved to prove him guilty ? 

2. Of a truth\ ironically, as 12^. — That it is so] what Bildad 
has said (8^). — And how, etc.] Eliphaz's principle (4^"), with the 
change of IP into DV — perhaps (Dr.) to suggest the double 
sense, " How can man be just in the estimation of (oy, ixiith, as 
I S. 2^^, 2 S. 6^^) God?" and " How can man have right (in a 
contest) with God?" For DV> with, suggesting in a contest 

with, Cf. 2-1'* 10"^ l621, Ps. 94^6 Qsy-)^^ Qy y^ Q^p-, >q. 

3-4. If man did wish to contend with God, for the purpose 
of establishing his righteousness, he would be foredoomed to 
failure, he could not answer Him one of the innumerable ques- 
tions which, in His infinite superiority to man. He would put 
to him : His wisdom, combined with His might (^* — a summary 
anticipation of^*^-: cp. also ^^, Is. 40^^), would bring about his 
complete discomfiture. A less probable view of ^^ is that it 
goes with "who" in ^ — who, however great and strong, 
hardened himself, etc. (Olsh. Ehrlich). 

4. In heart] in ititellect, 7^*" n. — Hardened (himself) against 
hini\ probably with an ellipse, Jiardened (his neck) against him, 
i.e. (Da.) braved him: cf. Dt. iqI^ Jer. f^, Pr. 29^ (vb.), 
Ex. 32^ (adj.) al. Possible also is an ellipse, as perhaps in 
Ex. I3l^ of heart (Ps. 95^, Pr. 28^^) or spirit (Dt. 2^^).— And 
prospered] or, more exactly, was (came off) whole (8^ n.), i.e. 
safe and sound. 

5-IO. Description of God's omnipotence as manifested in 
the mighty works of nature. Cf. the picture drawn by Eliphaz, 
-9-16^ who, however, in agreement with his line of argument, 
selects examples of the beneficent operations of God, whereas 

IX. 5-9.] JOB 85 

^ Who removeth the mountains, and they know it not, 

Who overturneth them in his ang'er: 
^ Who shaketh the earth out of her place, 

And the pillars thereof tremble : 
^ Who commandeth the sun, and it beameth not; 

And sealeth up the stars : 

Job selects examples illustrating- His unlimited and even irre- 
sponsible and destructive power. 

5. A hyperbolical description of the dislodgment of huge 
masses of rock from a mountain, either by an earthquake or, 
in a thunderstorm, by lightning, or of great boulders being 
rolled down the gullies by the torrents of water which in a 
storm rapidly fill them (as may be witnessed sometimes in the 
Sinaitic Peninsula; see " Neh.-Mal." in the Ce?itury Bible, 
p. 99 f.). — And they know it not] so quickly is it done: cf. (for 
the meaning of the expression) Ps. 35^, Is. 47^^ Pr. 5^, Jer. 50-*. 
Or, to obtain a closer parallel with the last part of ^, reading 
the vb. in the sing., with God as the subj., Who removeth 
mountains without knowing it, so easily and without effort does 
He act. 

6. Earthquakes. The description is again hyperbolical. 
The earth was supposed to be supported upon massive pillars : 
cf. 38^, I S. 2^, Ps. 104^ (ct. 26'': see n.). Or the pillars of the 
earth may be identical with what in 26^^ are called the pillars 
of heaven : i.e. the mountains rising from the horizon on earth 
and supporting heaven. 

7. Abnormal obscurations of the heavens, whether caused 
by heavy thunderstorms, or by sandstorms (see Dr. on Ex. lo^^), 
or eclipses. — Beameth not\ The word is the one regularly used 
of the sun's "rising" : but its proper meaning is to beam or 
shine forth ; and it is not confined to the literal rising of the 
sun (cf. Is. 5810). 

8-10. Regarded by some as an insertion : see phil. notes. 

Note 8^= Is. 442"* (cp. Is. 4022b, ^^ 10^2). b ^p. Mic. I^b; 9 cp. 

Am. 58; 10 = 5^. 

8-9. God's power, as shown in the workmanship of heaven, 
and i^^) in His sovereign control of the billows of the sea. 

86 THE BOOK OF JOB [IX. 8-9. 

8 Who alone stretched out the heavens, 

And treadeth upon the waves of the sea : 

^ Who made the Bear (and) Orion, 

And the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south : 

8. Treadeth, etc.] Viz. in a tempest, when the waves (Heb. 
" hig'h places ") rise mountain-hig'h, and Yahweh was supposed 
to walk on their crest. Elsewhere Yahweh is described as 
treading-, or marching, on the "high places" of the earth 
(Am. 4^-', Mic. i^). The expression implies undisputed posses- 
sion of, or uncontrolled sovereignty over : cf. (of Israel in 
Canaan) Dt. sa^^ 3320, Is. 58I* ; also Ps. 18=** (33)^ Hab. 3I9. 

9. Three constellations, which, though the ancients were 
completely unaware of their gigantic size, impressed them by 
their brilliancy and magnificence, as they glowed in the nocturnal 
heavens. The identifications are not certain : see more fully on 
38^^^-, Del. and Di. here and on 38^^*-, EBi. s. v. Stars, § 3 (Burney). 
— The Bear] Heb. 'ash, in 38'^- f spelt more correctly ' ayish, 
though (as Syriac shows) 'iyyush would be the best pronuncia- 
tion. In 38^^^ the reference is to 'Ayish and her children, the 
children, if the identification with the Bear be correct, being 
presumably the three stars of the tail. But, on account of its 
greater meteorological significance (cp. 38--"^^), the Pleiades 
have been thought to be the constellation invoked, 'Ayish being 
strictly the principal star of the group (Alcyone), the remainder 
her children. — Orio7i\ 38'^^ Am. 5^; and in the pi. Is. 13^'' t, 
" For the stars of the heavens and their Orio?is — i.e. their 
constellations like Orion — shall not give their light," etc. The 
Heb. is ?'P3, the common word iox fool (Pr. 1-2.32 etc.): c. 38^^ 
speaks of the *' bands " of Orion : as Orion was supposed by the 
ancient Greeks to be a giant bound in the heavens by chains, it 
is difficult not to think that some similar idea underlay the Heb. 
name, and that there was some legend of a giant who, confiding 
foolishly in his strength, and defying the Almighty, was, as a 
punishment for his arrogance, bound for ever in the sky. The 
identification of 7''D3 with Orion is as ancient as G 38'^^ Is. 13^", 
and is g-enerally accepted. Saad. and some others identify it 
with Canopus.— The Pleiades] 38^^ Am. 5^!. If the first-named 

IX. 9.] JOB 87 

^^ Who doeth great thing-s past finding out; 
Yea, marvellous things without number. 

constellation be rightly identified with the Pleiades, that now 
named (noo) must be something else — possibly Sirius. The 
Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades attracted notice at an early period 
among the Greeks also, partly, perhaps, on account of their 
conspicuousness, and partly because their risings and settings 
with the sun marked the seasons. Comp. Horn. //. 18. 483-9 
(as depicted on the shield of Achilles) : 

Ev /xev '■yaiav erev^\ iv S' ovpavov, iv he ddXaaaav, 
HeXiov 8 ciKufiavTa, ^eXrji/Tjv re irXrjdovaap, 
ev 8e ra relpea iravTa, rd r ovpavo-i iarecpdvoirai, 
II\r]id8a<i 6' 'TdSwi re, to re crOevo^ \f2pLO)vo^, 
' ApKTov 6 , rfv Kal d/xa^av eTTLKXrjcnv KuXeovaiv, 
•i] T avTuv (Trpe(f)eTai, kuI r ^floioiva SoKevec, 
ott] 8 dfifj,opo<i ecTTL Xoerpoiv ' flKeavolo. 
Od. V. 272-5 (Ulysses sitting by the helm, sleepless — TlXr]'id8a<i 
t' eaopcbvTL Kal oyfre 8vovTa Bocott]1' " ApKTOv 6 , ktX. — as in 
the three lines just quoted). //. 22. 27-31 (Achilles in his 
flashing armour compared to the dog-star) : 

09 pd T OTTwprjii elcnv, dpi^ifXoi 8e oi avyal 
(patvovTai TToXXoiai fier uarpaai vvKTo<i dfjCoXjoj' 
ov re Kvv flpLwvo^; erriKXTjaiv KaXeovai' 
Xafiirporaro^ fiev oS" ecrri, kukov 84 re <ji]fxa rervKrat, 
Kai re (pepei rroWov rrvperov 8etXoiac. ^porolacv. 
The chambers of the soiith\ this translation of the Hebrew 
phrase assumes an unusual orthography (jon for (DTi), but is 
more probable than the alternative the chatnbers of the Twins 
(pn = ipxri, Aramaic pi. for D'OXn). But the chambers of the 
south can hardly refer to a single particular constellation, 
though in the context it would be most natural to look for this ; 
if the text and translation are correct, the term probably refers 
to constellations which, as the poet knew, appeared above the 
horizon as a traveller journeyed south (Dr.). Less probable in 
the context would be the identification with " the storehouses of 
elemental forces, such as the storm, or light and darkness: 
cp. 37^ 38-2 " (Peake). Hoffm. by a slight emendation (iDTll "iin 

cS8 THE BOOK OF JOB [IX. 9-13. 

^^ Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not : 

He passeth on also, but I perceive him not. 

^2 If he seizeth, who can turn him back? 

Who can say unto him, What doest thou? 

^^ God doth not turn back his anger ; 

The helpers of Rahab did stoop under him. 

for 'n ''"nn) obtains the names of two constellations — Hdr and 
the Twins. 

10. Repeated almost verbatim from 5^ (Eliphaz). 

11-24. f^fom the general truth that man cannot establish his 
right in a conflict with God C^*-), whose might is overwhelming 
(*"^^). Jot) passes (^^~^^) to its special application to himself, and, 
in particular, first on the supposition that God summons Job to 
answer a charge {^^- ^^), and then on the supposition that Job 
summons God (i^-soj . j,^ either event he would be overwhelmed 
by God's might, terrorized into not maintaining, but at best 
supplicating for, his right (i^), or, having summoned God, to 
charge not Him, but himself, with wrong (-'^). And so he 
returns to generalization : God destroys men indiff'erently, 
whether they are actually good men or bad men (-^), or, if He 
discriminates, it is in favour of the wicked (^*). 

11. Job, like the mountains (^), lay in the path of God as He 
passed along in His anger ; and though He passed invisibly, Job 
knows that He has passed by the effect of His passage ; like 
mountains overturned by the same cause. Job's life lies in ruins. 
Instead of directly stating this fact. Job speaks quasi-hypotheti- 
cally (see phil. n.), but only in order to suggest the more strongly 
the divine origin and, therefore, the irreparableness of his ruin, 
and the impossibility of withstanding or questioning God's action 

12. Cp. 1 1 10 23I3. 

13. Man cannot (^■-), and God Himself (emphatic), who might 
(and, as others thought, often did, Ps. 78"^^), does not, turn back 
His anger ; the only thing to do then, as the mighty beings of 
ancient story found, was to sink down under Him as He passed 
along. The anger of God does not appear to Job as it did to 
the prophets [e.g. Is. 9^^ etc.), to be provoked or maintained in 

IX. 13.] JOB 89 

action by human sin : it is ethically uncontrolled, sheer power in 
action, destroying- things and men indifferently, whether mighty 
mountains, or frail though innocent men like Job, who come 
in its way. The conception has its parallel in early popular 
thought of Yahweh (see, e.g., 2 S. G*^*^-), which left its mark even 
on much later theology ; see, especially in P, Nu. i^^ 17^^ i8'^ 
(see nn. on those passages in ICC, and also on Nu. 22^-) ; but 
Job rather heightens the picture of man's helplessness in a world 
subject to God's anger : popular thought pictured that anger 
aroused by man's intrusion, however unwilling and involun- 
tary, on what was holy or sacred to God; Job thinks of man 
passively and helplessly exposed to that anger, if God merely 
happens to come his way. — The helpers of Rahab] Rahab, 
meaning- boisterousness, arrogancy, and perhaps overbearing-- 
ness (cp. Is. 3^ and n. on Is. 14*), is, apparently, a popular name 
given in Hebrew folklore to the sea-monster (p^n, 7^^), who in 
primaeval times (Is. 51^) had defied, but been vanquished by, 
Yahweh (26^2, where Rahab is || to the sea; Is. 51^ || p:n, Ps. 
89^^: cp. Is. 30"?). In. Ps. 87-* Rahab is employed as a name 
for Egypt, which country in the person of its king is addressed 
elsewhere as : "Thou great monster (pjnn) which lieth in the 
midst of its streams (VIN"'), who saith. Mine is the Nile (iX"*), 
and /made it " (Ezk. 29^). This sea-monster of Hebrew popular 
story is obviously derived from the Tiamat (philologically = Heb. 
fhd?n, the abyss) of the Babylonian myth, the great dragon 
representing the sea and the forces of disorder, which were 
vanquished by Marduk before Creation. The helpers of Rahab 
come from the same source : in Tablet IV. lines 105 ff. o{ Eniima 
Elish (L. King, The Seven Tablets of Creation ; Rogers, CP), 
Marduk, after slaying Tiamat, deals with her helpers : 
When he had slain Tiamat, the leader. 
Her power was broken, her army was scattered 
And the gods, her helpers, who marched at her side, 
Trembled and were afraid and turned back. 
They broke away to save their lives. 
But they were surrounded, they could not escape. 
He took them captive, he broke their weapons, 
In the net they were thrown, and in the snare they remained. 

90 THE BOOK OF JOB [IX. 13-17. 

^* How much less shall /answer him, 

And choose out my words (to reason) with him ? 

^^ Whom, though I were righteous, I could not answer ; 
I should make supplication to mine adversary. 

^^ If I had cited (him), and he had answered me ; 

I should not believe that he would give ear unto my voice. 

. . . The world they filled with cries of sorrow, 
They bore his punishment, they are shut up in prison 

(Rogers' translation). 

In Ps. 89^^ these helpers are referred to, in parallelism with 

Rahab, as Yahweh's enemies. 

14. Answer /mn] rebut the charge brought against me by 
God, who is here represented as Job's opponent-at-law. So '' 
means : how incapable should I be of selecting a successful line 
of defence in my conflict with (oy, as ^ : see n. on -) Him in the 
law court. 

15. Though his case were perfectly good, with such an 
opponent, he could not so argue as to get a decision on its 
merits ; he could at best cast himself on the favour of his 
adversary ( = opponent-at-law : see phil. n.), with a view to 
obtaining as a favour what was really his by right. 

16-18. Even though Job were to summon God to answer a 
charge (cp. 13^"^"^), and God were to appear in court in response 
to the summons, yet God would by violent methods {^''^■) in court 
prevent him from formulating his just charge against Him. 

16. Cited {]iini)\ Heb. called^ Nip being used of a legal 
summons as in Is. 59* (|| tDDK'j). — Ans7i}ered\ i.e. appeared in 
response to the summons, so rather similarly 5^, where appear- 
ance in response to Job's call, not a speech in reply, is intended. 
Du., understanding ansiver in the sense of speech in reply, 
reads '* he would not answer me" (after fflr'^) to harmonize * on 
this view with ^: see phil. n. 

17 f. The vbs. describe what would be God's conduct in 
court, if He were to appear there ; but if & be followed in ^*^ 
they describe God's present actual treatment of Job : then render 
(HI. Du., and in ^'' RV.): bnciseth, tnultipliet/i, snffereth me 
not, and satiate ih ; in this case with ^^*, cp. 7^^*^, and with ^^'', 13^^. 

IX. 17-20.] JOB 9 1 

^"^ For he would bruise me with a tempest, 

And multiply my wounds without cause. 
^^ He would not suffer me to take my breath, 

But would satiate me with bitterness. 
^^ If (it be a question) of the strength of the mighty, ** Here [I 

am]! " (saith he); 
And if of judgment (he saith), "Who will appoint me a 

2" Though I were righteous, mine own mouth would condemn 

me ; 
I am perfect ; and he declares me crooked ! 

17. Bniise] see phil. n. — Tempest] cp. 38^ 40*^; and see phil. n. 
Hi. gives the word (myc') the meaning of hair (cp. C : see 
phil. n.) as in 4^^, and renders ^'^°-: who drags me by the hair 
(cp. 16^'-). But the sing, of the noun would be as questionable 
here as in 4^^, and the vb. does not mean to drag. — b. Cp. 2^. 

19. " God's might is such that he is ready for any contest, 
and superior to the summons of any judge " (Dr.). See, further, 
phil. n. — Appoint me a time] the Hif. (Jer. 49^^ = 50"^^*) of the 
vb. used in c. 2^^ ("•) • the meaning here is: Fix the day on 
which I must appear to be judged. 

20. RigJiteous . . . co7idemn] the second vb. is the declara- 
tive Hif. (G-K. 53c) of W\ (the antithesis of p'\)i, righteous), 
and means would declare, or pro?iouncey unrighteous. Primarily 
both the vb. and adj. of pnv and yE'i mean right or wrong in a 
particular case, innocent or guilty of a particular charge (cp. 
e.g. Dt. 25^: judges are to "pronounce the innocent innocent, 
and the guilty guilty " : EV. renders badly) ; and here, with 
the prevailing figure of the law courts, we might render : though 
I were in the right, mine own mouth would pronounce me in 
the wrong. But the implied charge here is so general (cp. ^), 
that there is no substantial difference in this particular case 
(ct. Dt. 25^) between the two renderings, in the right and 
righteous. — Aline own rnouth . . . he] the parallelism would 
be more exact, if we read his mojith (but see phil. n.) in % or 
(better) treated " mouth " not " God " as the subj. in '', render- 
ing " it declares." — Perfect . . . crooked] see i^ n. 

92 THE BOOK OF JOB [IX. 21-24. 

2^ I am perfect ; I care not for myself; 

I refuse my life. 
22 It is (all) one; therefore I say, 

The perfect and the wicked he bringeth to an end ! 
2^ If the scourge slay suddenly, 

He mocketh at the trial of the innocent. 

21, 22. A succession of short clauses giving a verse structure 
very different from the normal : this is perhaps original and 
intentional (Bu.), to give effect in form to the emotional con- 
tents of the vv. For a reconstruction of the text, see phil. n. 
The vindication of his integrity is all that Job any longer cares 
about ; life he is quite ready to hazard ; it is all one to him 
whether he lives or dies : consequently he can and will speak, 
and freely (cp. 13^^) : God may slay the wicked, as Bildad had 
asserted (8^^^-), but He also slays and so rejects the good, 
which Bildad had denied (8^^) ; and so in reality by His undis- 
criminating action He perverts justice, which also Bildad had 
denied (S^). 

21. / am perfect\ perhaps merely an accidental repetition 
from '^^ (Be.^). — / care not for myse/f] Heb. I know (vix) not 
my soul {i.e. myself: 1| " my life "), the vb. being used, as not 
infrequently, in the sense of caring, troubling about a thing : 
cp. Gn. 39^, Dt. 33^. — I refuse my life\ cp. 7^^, and see phil. n. 

22. // is all one] Cr omits. C it is one 77ieasure, i.e. good 
and bad are requited alike (cp. Qoh. 9^), so Del.^ (but not 2) and 
Ehrlich. But the phrase is to be explained with most moderns 
as above in the n. on -^- --. 

23. 24. Examples of God's moral indifference : when the 
scourge of God (cp. Is. lo^^) is applied in the form of some 
plague that suddenly carries men off by the thousands, the 
innocent die as well as the wicked, and God shows Himself 
more than quietly indifferent to their fate : He mocks at (cp. 
Ps. 2*) their trial, or despair (see phil. n.). Again, the 
government is in the hands of godless men ; judges have been 
blinded so that they do not see the right, or perhaps, having 
been bribed, they deliberately overlook the right of the 

IX. 23-25,] JOB 93 

2* The earth is given into the hand of the wicked : 
He covereth the faces of the judges thereof; 
If not, then, who is it? 

innocent ; in such social and political conditions the Innocent 
come to an end at least as often as the wicked : indeed, the 
wicked is uppermost. Yet who is responsible for this, if not 
God (-^°)? therefore God discriminates, if at all, against the 

24. The earth] or possibly a land, i.e. a province. On the 
former view, cp. with the judges the?'eqf, Ps. 2^" "judges of 
the earth" !| to "kings." In either case the writer may have 
had in view the government and administration of some world 
empire of which judah formed at the time a province : pagans 
ruled, pious, innocent Jews suffered. — Is given] or, pointing 
differently: He, i.e. God, hath given it. dj omits ^- °, and the 
words "it is (all) one" in 2- — probably to soften down the 
strong expressions in 20-24. (-.^ (J^'^ substitution of "great" 
for "innocent" in "^'. 

25-35. Having completed his reply to Bildad with a direct 
contradiction of Bildad's contention, Job, musing now to himself, 
bemoans the brevity of his life (cp. -j^^-), and the impossibility 
of any alleviation of his distress while God retains His present 
attitude, the impossibility, too, of establishing his innocence 
so long as God is bent on besmirching i^^^^-) him ; but if God 
would chanofe His attitude and cease to overbear him with 
His terrible might, then Job would establish the integrity of 
which he is conscious (v.^*^). The lament over the brevity and 
near end of his life follows immediately on his expression of 
readiness to have done with it in '^^^- : cp. conversely 7^^^- after 7^'-. 

25 f. The speed with which his brief life is hurrying to its 
goal, Job illustrates by three finely varied and very suggestive 
figures, ^^* that of the solitary runner (p) making all haste to 
deliver his message (cp. 2 S. 18""-*), ^"^"^ that of the fragile 
craft of reeds (see phil. n.) that skim so swiftly over the 
surface of the Nile — another indication of the poet's acquaint- 
ance with Egypt (cp. 8^^ n.), and -'^'^ that of a griffon swooping 
down on its prey. 

94 THE BOOK OF JOB [IX. 25-28. 

-^ And my days are swifter than a post : 

They flee away, they see no good. 
^'^ They shoot along Hke skiffs of reed, 

Like an eagle that swoopeth on the prey. 
2^ If I say, "I will forget my complaint, 

I will put off my (sad) countenance, and brighten up": 
2S I dread all my pains ; 

I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent. 

25. And my days] the a7id is better omitted, with 2 MSS, 
SU : cp. 7^. — Flee . . . see] or have fled . . . have seen: the 
terms are pf. : so in ^^^. In 7**^- ''^ Job had no hope of any 
further sight of prosperity : here his present calamities have 
blotted out his memory of the prosperity that he had 

26. An eagle] strictly a vulture, a griffo7i-vulture : see 
Tristram, NHB 172 flf.; Dr. on Dt. 14I- 32"; EBi., s.v. 
Eagle ; though Post in DB (cp. Lex. s.v. "Wl) claims that the 
Heb. nesher, like the Arabic nisr, might include eagles as 
well as vultures. In any case, the Hebrew associations with 
the word nesher were unlike the English associations with 
vultures ; for though the nesher' s habit of feeding on carrion 
was of course known, and is sometimes referred to (39^^ ; cp. 
Mt. 24^^ aeTot = Pesch. ] ; « 1 ), it is most commonly mentioned 
in the OT. in nobler comparisons; see, e.g., Ex. 19*, Dt. 32^^, 
Is. 40^^ Its swiftness, the point of comparison here, is fre- 
quently mentioned : see Hab. 1^ (swift on the prey, as here), 
2 S. i23, Jer. 413, La. 4^9. 

27a. Cp. 7^^^. — Complaint] (sad) musing, and the expression 
of it in words (see phil. n. on 7^^) : the whole phrase is nearly 
equivalent to our "I will forget my thoughts." — Put off my 
countenance] this curious expression has a close parallel in 
I S. i^^ 1^ (not (!a) : "her (sad) countenance was no more 
hers"; in Gn. 31" •'' the expressions are much less similar. — 
Brighten up] 10^^: see phil. n. 

28a. Cp. 7^^. b. The pains (^) will continue, for God is bent 
on regarding Job as not innocent, and, therefore, on afflicting 
him as -^^ one guilty. 

IX. 29-33.] JOB 95 

29 I am to be guilty ! 

Why then do I labour in vain? 

30 If I wash myself with snow, 

And cleanse my hands with lye ; 

31 Then thou wilt plunge me in the ditch, 

And mine own clothes shall abhor me. 

32 For (he is) not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, 

That we should come together in judgment. 

33 There is no umpire betwixt us. 

That might lay his hand upon us both. 

29. If, whatever happens, Job must endure the sufferings of 
the guilty {"^) ; if, as often as he clears himself, God fastens on 
him afresh the false charge of guilt — this point being expressed 
by the figure of a man cleansing himself in the most thorough 
manner possible only to be flung back by one stronger into a 
filthy, stinking ditch (30f-) — what use is there in any further 
attempt to clear himself (2^^) ? 

30. JVi'f/i sfiow] regarded not unnaturally, though errone- 
ously, as more cleansing than water. Me. As sfiow (cp. Is. i^^) 
— 1M for 103. — Lye] alkali, obtained from the ashes of plants 
and used for cleansing the person ; "13 in this sense only here 
and Is. i25(?); cp. nnn, Jer. 2^2, Mai. 32. The parallelism 
strongly favours giving 13 this sense here (so 2E and most 
moderns ; S took it in the sense oi cleanness, as in 223^, 2 S. 2221). 

31. The moment he has finished washing, before he has 
dressed again, God plunges him in the filthy mire ; when he 
issues from it his very clothes regard him as an abomination 
to be kept at a distance (cp. 3ol^ Ps. 88^^^^), and so refuse to 
cover him. Some (Ew. al.), finding this powerful personifica- 
tion too strong or strange, think of Job as having been dipped 
in the filth clothed, and render (cp. Ezk. i62^) : my clothes 
make me an abomination (to others): others (see phil. n.) 
emend "clothes" into "friends" (then cp. Ps. 88**). 

32. A just decision is impossible to obtain : for Job is 
human, God is not, and therefore Job cannot reply to (cp. ^^^•) 
God's charge. 

33. Nor is there any one superior to them both to pronounce 

96 THE ROOK OF JOB [IX. 33-X. 

^^ Let him take away his rod from me, 

And let not his terror affrigfht me : 
^ Then would I speak, and not fear him. 

For not so am I with myself. 

a decision and arbitrate between them. — There is no] so fH : 
^ miu;-ht also be rendered : Would that there were an ; but see 
phil. n. — Umpire] n'"D1D is here one who gives a decision in a 
dispute between two parties : cp. the use of the vb. in Gn. 31^'' 
and Is. 2* (Yahweh will arbitrate in the disputes arising among 
many nations). — Lay his hand upon] exercise authority and 
control over: cp. Ps. 139^. 

34 f. But let God meet Job on equal terms, not taking 
advantage of His irresistible might to beat him and terrify him 
into silence, and Job will freely utter his conviction of his own 
innocence, and, consequently, of the injustice of God's present 
violent treatment of him. 

34. See 1321 337. 

35. Not so . . . with myself] I am aware of nothing to 
make me afraid of Him, if He acts not in might, but in right : 
with, as lo'^^ 15^ 23^* 27^^. 

X. And yet, whether God remove His rod and His terrors 
(9^^) or not, since Job is sick of life (i*) and has, therefore, nothing 
more to fear (cp. 7^^^- 9-"), he will speak out his thoughts freely 
(^^•°), and unreservedly interrogate God as to the reason of His 
contention with him (3-6f.^; he asks God whether the reasons 
that occur to him, and yet seem so insufficient or irrelevant, 
are really the reasons : (i) Does God get any benefit or pleasure 
out of ill-treating and rejecting a life that has cost Him much 
labour to produce (^) ? (2) Is God after all of limited vision and 
perception like men, so that He judges Job wrongly, and 
contends with him because He really has concluded that Job 
deserves the treatment (*)? or (3) Is God after all shortlived 
like men, so that He is in a hurry to seek out Job's sin before 
it has been committed (■'*)? Of these questions (2) and (3) are 
no further considered, perhaps because the answers to them 
are too obvious : God cannot see amiss and cannot die ; but 
the various elements in (i) are elaborated in ^~~^, viz. the pains 

X. 1-3.] JOB 97 

X. ^ My soul loatheth my life ; 

1 will let my complaint take its course upon me ; 
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 
2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me ; 

Make me to know wherefore thou contendest with me ? 
^ Is it good for thee that thou oppressest, 

That thou rejectest the work of thine hands, 
And that thou shinest upon the counsel of the wicked? 

taken by God to produce Job (^"^^), and, in spite of this, His 
vigilant and persistent hostility to Job {^^~^''), and the question 
itself; why so strange a combination, why not, at least for the 
few days that remain to Job, leave him alone (i8-22j p ^he 
transitions of thought at the beginning of the chapter are not 
too clearly marked : in particular, the precise point of ^ is rather 
uncertain, whether interpreted as above or otherwise, and ^ 
would follow more easily as an alternative presentation of the 
case to '^^ than as the conclusion to °. Du. omits ^ ; possibly, 
if we omit at all to recover an easier connection, it would be 
better to omit ^°~^. 

1. To avoid a tristich Bi. Du. omit «= as a variation on y^^ ; 
but of the three lines ^- ° are the better parallels ; if omission 
were required ^^ (a variation of g-^) could be better spared. — 
Complaini\ musing ; g'-'^ n. — Let . . . take its course] Job will 
no longer keep his musings to himself (cp. 7^^), but let them 
loose : 21V, as 20^^ (antithetical to yjo, to hold hack), Ex. 23^, 
and in the proverbial expression 31Tyi "iivy, shut up or let loose, 
e.g. Dt. 32^*^. — Upon me\ as -TfP-^^ H"^*^? Ps- 42^^^^ al. : see Lex. 


2. Do not condemn me] without formulating the charge 

(cp. ^), or giving me the opportunity to rebut it. 

3. Is it good for thee] i.e. advantageous to Thee: so Ex. 
14^2, Nu. 14^, Jg. 9-. — That thou oppressest] ffir eav dBiK'^trco 
( = ycnx), if I am guilty (cp. Ps. 51^), is not preferable to ?^. — 
The work of thy hands] the product of the toil (vt) of thy 
hands, different from the phrase D''DD HB'yD, commonly so 
rendered (see phil. n.). By this phrase, which he elaborates in 
^-^^, Job refers to himself: but it is of course equally applicable 


98 THE P.OOK OF JOB [X. 3-6. 

*• Hast thou eyes of flesh, 

Or seest thou as man seeth? 
^ Are thy days as the days of man, 

Or thy years as man's days, 
® That thou seekest after mine iniquity, 

And searchest after my sin, 

to any man, righteous or wicked, so that the antithesis in '^ is 
rather lame, and ^ should perhaps be omitted (Bu. al.) and the 
V. reduced to a distich. 

4. The supposition, if it could be entertained, might explain 
the present facts ; but it cannot, for, though men sometimes 
act in disregard of the fact, it was a commonplace that God 
was spirit and not flesh (Is. 31^), and did not see with limited 
human vision (i S. 16'^). 

5. Another supposition that merely needs to be stated to be 
rejected ; for God's years have no end (Ps. 102-**). — A/afi . . . 
w«w'^] diff"erent words in 1^ (inj . . . ti'lJX) ; on the other hand, 
days is repeated, perhaps owing to an accidental replacement 
in ^ of daj's for years: cp. phil. n. on 8^. The point of the 
question has been differently taken : either, is God shortlived, 
and, therefore, limited in experience like men ? in this case ^ is 
a variation of the thought of ^ ; or, is God so shortlived that 
He must make haste to achieve what He has set before Him 
before His years come to an end? In neither case does 
the question fit very naturally into the context : see above 
on 1^-. 

6. Tka^]or, I put these questions, y(?r(Du.). — Mine iniquity 
. . . my sin] sin not yet committed by Job, but which God by 
the infliction of severe suffering is, after the manner of an 
inquisitor, seeking to compel Job to acknowledge, and thereby 
give a ground for God's condemnation of him (Del. Di. Dr.) ; 
or, iniquity and sin such as Job admitted (7^^), while refusing 
to admit "wickedness" C^*) such as would justify the severity 
of God's treatment of him : "the fact of guilt he does not deny, 
but he cannot regard it as of primary importance : if God is 
regarded as a petty criminal judge. He is degraded to the 
(merely) human, and it is forgotten that He is the Creator, and 

X. 6 9.] jon 99 

^ Although thou knowest that I am not wicked ; 

And there is none that can deliver out of thine hand ? 
^ Thine hands have fashioned and formed me, 

•^Aftervvards thou turnest\ and destroyest me ! 
® Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast formed me as clay ; 

And wilt thou bring- me into dust again ? 

that man is not a stranger to Him, as the criminal to the judge, 
but a work of His own hands lovingly produced " (Du.). 

7. The two lines express two very disparate ideas, and 
form very awkward parallels ; * seems most congruous with 
the context, and Be. Du. (see phil. n.), by a slight emendation, 
bring ^ into parallelism with it, rendering, And that there is 
no transgression (or, treachery) in my hand. Ehrlich, by an 
even slighter emendation (5;?-*'J^* for yc'IN in ^), brings ^ into 
parallelism with ^ : in this case render : 

Because Thou knowest that I cannot save myself, 

And that there is none that can deliver out of thy hand. 

8-II. Amplification of ^. By a variety of metaphors, or 
comparisons with human handiwork, the poet emphasizes the 
care lavished by God on the production of Job. 

8. Fashioned\ like a sculptor. — Afterwards thou iurnest] see 
phil. n. ^ EV. together round about with ^, giving to the v. an 
unrhythmical structure. — Destroyest\ 2^ : Job does not know of 
the Satanic instigation to God's action. 

9. Formed me as clay] like a potter ; cp. Is. 64'^ 45^. Clay 
is regarded as the actual material of the human body in 
4^^ 336 : so some would read here "ion (cp. Cr) as an ace. of the 
material (G-K. iiyhh) or icnn (cp. 2 in Ex. 38^^: Ehrlich), and 
render : formed me ozit of clay. Varying the figure the writer 
repeats the thought of ^ : so much care (*^- ^^) expended in vain 
^8b. 9b^ . j^g^g Jq}^ been fashioned by the divine sculptor merely, 
through a change of whim, to be destroyed? has he been 
formed out of clay into a useful vessel merely to be broken up 
by the divine potter, and reduced again to meaningless particles 
of dust? It is true, this line of thought might easily have 
carried Job to the further point of questioning why man thus 
made should die at all so as to perish entirely ; but since it 

lOO THE ROOK OF JOB [X. 9-12. 

^^ Didst thou not pour me out like milk, 

And curdle me like cheese? 
^^ Thou didst clothe me with skin and flesh, 

And knit me together with bones and sinews. 
12 rpavour^ and kindness hast thou done with me, 

And thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. 

does not in any case do so in ^, it is ill-advised, on the ground 
that it does not do so in ^, to subordinate ^^ to "remember" 
in ^ : Remember that thou bringest men into dust again 
(Barth), i.e. that I am frail (cp. Ps. 103^^) and mortal : and, 
then, with Di., to draw the necessary conclusion that ^ with 
this new, and in itself correct, but between ^ and ^'^ incongruous 
thought, is an interpolation. — Bring . . . into dust again] 
cp., of the normal lot of men, Ps. 90^, Gn. 3^^, and see n. on i^^. 

10, II. The poet has no thought of the sinfulness of the 
flesh : the human body is the noble workmanship of God : 
behind and in the human functions of procreation and gesta- 
tion lies the activity of God : it was He who poured the milk- 
like semen into the womb, transforming it there into the soft 
cheese-like substance of the unformed embryo (cp. 7ra'yel<; iv 
aLfiaTi, Wis. 7^), clothing this with skin and flesh, and then 
within the flesh, providing a framework of intertwining (so 
also Ps. 139^^) bones (cp. Qoh. 11^) and sinews; and so made 
Job. Cp. Ps. 139^^"^^ and, with less detailed reference to the 
activity of God, 2 Mac. y^'^- ; or without such reference. Wis. 7^. 
Ct. later, ignobler descriptions of man's (physical) origin {e.g. 
"know whence thou camest : from a fetid drop," nnilD nS''D?D, 
Pirke Abhoth, 3^), especially where there is a contrast between 
the natural man — born of blood, the will of the flesh and the 
will of man (John i^-^) — and the spiritual man. 

11. Might, perhaps, better be subordinated like ^°^ to the 
interrogative in ^^'"^ Didst Thou not pour me out . . . curdle 
me . . . clothe me . . . knit me . . . ? 

12 f. The same care and pains that had been expended on 
his formation had been continued up through life, betokening, 
as it seemed, God's kindness to Job ; but (^^) from his recent 
and present experiences he must conclude that all this was but 

X. 12-15.] JOB lOI 

^3 And (yet) these things didst thou hide in thine heart ; 

I know that this was in thy thoughts : 
^'^ If I sinned, that thou wouldest mark me, 

And wouldest not acquit me from my iniquity; 

a mask to the real thoughts of God (unfolded in ^*~^^), which 
were not kindly but malignant. — Favour and kindness\ on the 
emendation, see phil. n. ; or, since alike in rhythm and sense 
the line would be complete without a second term, we might 
read simply: Kindness (hast Thou done with me). |l^ (EV.) 
Life and kindness \ and this has often been taken to refer to 
birth — having formed my body in the womb. Thou gavest me 
life when I issued from it. Yet even if "^ is correct, ^* '' alike 
probably refer not to birth, but to the providence of God pro- 
tecting and enriching Job throughout his earlier years. Life 
would be, not the beginning of life, the introduction of the life 
principle at birth, but duration of life, as, e.g., in Ps. 21^ 34^^^ 
or life as health or welfare ; cp. Pr. 4— (Wisdom's words are 
life unto those that find them, and healing to all their flesh), 
Mai. 2^ (Dli'tJ'ni D'^'^nn), Pr. 2121 (nUDI . . . D'^^n) ; and with the 
coupling of life and kindness (lon), we might compare the 
parallelism of life and favour in Pr. 3-- (jn), 8^^ ()1^"i)- — Thy 
visitation] i.e. Thy providence. The noun (mpD) in this sense 
occurs only here, but it corresponds exactly to the use of the 
vb. in, e.g*, Ps. 8^^*^ (cp. the ironical expansion of this in Job 
7I8), Jer. 29^0. 

13. These things . . . this] pointing forward to and ex- 
plained in i*-i7^ — / know] 9^^. — Was in thy thoughts] Heb. was 
with Thee : 9^^ n. 

14-17. The secret purposes of God (v.^^), as Job imagines 

14. If Job committed any of those sins which man is liable 
to commit (cp. 7-^, v.'^n.), God would be on the alert that he 
should not escape punishment for it : there should be no letting 
of him off even for the least sin. — Mark] The same vb. ("IDE') 
as in '- [preserve) : for the present nuance, cp. 13-''. 

15. Wicked] The stronger term after sin in ^^ (cp. ^^■), or, 
rather (cp.*'), juridically (cp. 9-° n.) — alike whether guilty or 

I02 THE BOOK OF JOB [X. 15-16. 

'^ If I were wicked, (that it would be) woe unto me ; 

And if I were righteous, that I should not lift up my 

Being filled with ignominy. 
And '^sated with^ affliction. 
^^ And if (my head) rose up proudly, (that) thou wouldest 

hunt me like a lion ; 
And again show thyself marvellous against me : 

innocent of any charge you prefer against me, I should suffer. 
— Lift up mine head] cp. "Lift up the face," ii^^ 22^^. — 
Filled imth\ yaK' : cp. g^^ DnnD3 "'3y''3tJ'^ — Sated with] See 
phil. n. ; fH probably means look upon (EV. " looking upon "). 
15c. d gj.g two-stressed lines, and may be an addition (Du.), 
or corrupt. 

16. But even if, being righteous, he were to lift up his 
head, proud in the sense of innocence (ct. ^^^), God would, as 
fiercely as a lion (cp. Hos. 5^* 13'^), hunt him down. But 
neither is the connection with ^^'^, after the intervening ^^'^' ^, 
nor the figure of hunting down a man walking proudly erect 
particularly probable ; further, ^^^ is more closely parallel to 
^"^^ than to ^^^ (note: " again "|| "renew"), and if so taken, 
17b. n. form a distich instead of the last two lines of a tristich as 
now. Not improbably '^^°- is out of place (see phil. n. on ^^). 
Omitting ^^'^' ^ with their rhythmical peculiarities and ^*^% the 
presence of which is the cause of an apparent tristich, and read- 
ing cnrijT in ^'''^, the three distichs of which ^^'^"^ then consist 
read as follows : 

15 If I were wicked (that it would be), woe unto me; 

And if I were righteous, that I should not lift up my 

head ; 
1^'' And (that) thou wouldest again show thyself mar- 
vellous against me, 
1^ And renew thy witnesses before me ; 

(That) thou wouldest increase thy vexation against me. 
And bring fresh hosts upon me 
The structural redundance of ^^'■^ remains, and the other diffi- 
culties are at best only alleviated, if we render (reading with S 

X. 16-19.] JOB lO 

^"^ (That) thou wouldest renew thy witnesses before me, 
And increase thy vexation ag^ainst me, 
■^And bring' fresh hosts^ upon me. 
^'^ Wherefore, then, hast thou brought me forth out of the 

I ought to have given up the ghost, and no eye ought 

to have seen me. 
^' I ought to have been as though I had not been ; 

I ought to have been borne from the womb to the 



nNJXl) : "And if I do proudly, like a lion, thou wouldest hunt 
me"; or (reading riNJni), "And thou wouldest rise up proudly, 
like a lion, to hunt me"; or, following fflr, "For I am hunted 
( = ''Dnii"') like a lion for the slaughter " (njin^ for nxyi). — I^ose 
up proudly\ See 8^^ phil. n. 

l6b. Marvels now, not of creation (cp. niN!5Q3, 9^") and 
providence (^'^''), but of destruction (cp. Is. 29^*), torment, and 

17. Thy witnesses^ Job's "sufferings regarded as so many 
proofs of his guilt" (Dr.). — Vexation\ 5^ n. — c. f^ is taken to 
mean "relays and a host are against me," i.e. fresh forces — a 
military (cp. 16^^ 19^-) simile — constantly assail me, my suffer- 
ings never cease ; this sense is better expressed, with direct 
reference to God as securing this constant supply of re- 
serves, this perpetuity of suffering, by the emended text (see 
phil. n.). 

18 f. Cp. 3^^ For the omission of ^^'- (Me. Be.) there is no 
sufficient ground : as Bu. points out, they connect well with 
what precedes, and the transition from them to ^^^- is no more 
abrupt than it would be from ^'^ to -"f- ; still less probable is 
Sgf.'s omission of ^^~" as a parallel to v.^: this would make 
the speech end with v.^^ — an unlikely conclusion. 

19a. Cp. '^^^'^.—Borne\ Cp. 2 1^2. 

20-22. Turning from the vain reflections of ^^'- Job, on the 
ground of the brevity of life and of his rapid (cp. 925'-) approach 
to the dark realm of death, appeals to God to leave him alone 
that he may cheer up a little. He retains, in spite of his present 


2° Are not "^the^ days ""of my life^ few ? 

■^Look away^ from me, that I may brighten up a Httle, 
2^ Before I go whence I shall not return, 

Unto the land of darkness and dense darkness, 
^^ A land of gloom, like blackness, 

(A land) of dense darkness and disorder, 

And where the shining is as blackness. 

sufferings, which seem to betoken God's hostility, a certain 
remnant of his former trust in God and reliance on Him as a 
friend, which allows him to appeal to God for pity : but there 
is so much sense of the hostility that the relief he craves is 
that God may cease to take notice of him (ct. 29-"^). 

20. %} literally rendered is: Are not my days few? Let him 
cease, let him set (or, Qre, Cease, then, and set) from me that 1 
may brighten up a little. The sense rather questionably im- 
posed upon this by interpreters does not differ substantially 
from that which is well expressed in the emended text (see 
phil. n.). — Brighten tip] 9-^n. 

2ia. Cp. 77-10 1410-12^ 

2lb, 22. Sheol, the land of darkness, whose very (sun)- 
shine is black. The text is probably not altogether in order ; 
see phil. n. 

XL Sophar's first speech. — By way of apology, yet not 
politely like Eliphaz (4^), but, like Bildad (8-), bluntly, at once 
implying his condemnation of Job, Sophar begins C^"*) with a 
series of rhetorical questions : Is a man, voluble like Job, and 
a scoffer too, not to be answered ? He then (^~^^) takes up a 
point already alluded to by Eliphaz (5^*^), viz. the inscrutability 
of God's ways ; Job had pleaded that God, knowing him to be 
righteous, treats him as if he were wicked : Sophar answers : 
You have no right to say this, for you cannot read God's mind; 
you may think yourself righteous, but God may, and indeed, as 
His treatment of you shows, does, know that you have done 
wrong; God is beyond question and impossible to oppose. In 
13-20 Sophar points the same moral that both Bildad (8'''-7. 20-22) 
and Eliphaz (5^^^) ha\ e previously urged : Let Job turn to God 
and dispossess iniquity from his life and home : all will then be 

3CI. 2-4.] SOPHAR IO5 

XI. ^ Then answered Sophar the Naamathite, and said : 
2 Should a multitude of words not be answered ? 

And should a man full of talk be justified ? 
^ Should thy boasting's make men hold their peace? 

And shouldest thou mock, with none to make thee 

abashed ? 

well — but dark is the fate of the obstinately wicked (2° ; cp. in 
Bildad, 811-19. 22b); 

2-4. Referring plainly enough to Job throughout, Sophar 
descends in expression from the general to the particular : in 
g-eneral, should any man be allowed to establish his case merely 
because he commands an uninterrupted flow of language (-) ? 
Should Job in particular be allowed to silence every one by his 
speech, which is at once empty ("^^) in spite of its amount and 
irreligious (^^) ? Should he be allowed to give the lie to God 
by claiming- to be righteous {*), when He, by His present 
treatment of Job, is declaring Job to be wicked? For this is 
tantamount to the blasphemy of charging God with being in 
the wrong, unrighteous (ct. Ps. 2i5f-(3f.))_ 

2. A multitude of words^ as Pr. 10^'*, Qoh. 5^, or, one (or, a 
man) of many words (cp. ''). — A man full of talk] lit. "a man of 
lips " — " insinuating (cp. Is. 29^^) that Job's words are not really 
the expression of his heart" (Dr.). Cp. 16^ "the solace of my 
lips," I.e. hollow sympathy. Sophar is probably thinking less 
of the length of Job's last speech (Peake), which is scarcely 
longer than his first, and not greatly longer than that of 
Eliphaz, than of his apparent irrepressibility : the speeches of 
Eliphaz and Bildad ought to have silenced him, but they have 

3, 4. Unlike ^, these vv. are not marked as interrogatives by 
the use of an interrogative particle ; in ^, therefore, they are 
ambiguous ; fH intends both (not only *, as in EV.) to be taken 
affirmatively : Thy boastings silence . . . and thou mockest 
. . . and thou sayest ; see phil. n. — Boastings] for the word 
(Q^na) see Is. 16^ = Jer. 48^^ (with the same sense as here), and 
Is. 44-^, Jer. 50^*" t (meaning boasters, praters). The punctuation 
of fH presupposes the root mn : even so compare the root xnn 

I06 THE BOOK OF JOB [XI. 4-6. 

* ''Shouldest'' thou say, " My doctrine is pure, 

And I was clean in thine eyes " ? 
^ But oh that God would speak, 

And open his lips (in argument) with thee ; 
*^ And that he would declare to thee the secrets of w'isdom, 

That it is '^marvellous^ in resourcefulness ! 

Know, then, that God causeth to be forgotten unto thee somewhat of 

thine iniquity. 


of which the vb. occurs in i K. 12^^^, Neh. 6^t, in NH., which 
also employs the noun nN'^|i, a liar (see NHIVB), and in Syr. — 
Mock] viz. God: cp. the use of the noun {yj"?) in 34'^, and cp. ^^• 
there with * here. The parallel might suggest that the implicit 
object is men: so Renan, " Te moqueras-tu des gens"; but 
this is less probable. 

4. Whether taken interrogatively or affirmatively the saying 
attributed to Job refers not to what he will first say if he is left 
unanswered (De. Bu.), but is a specimen of the mocking or 
blasphemy i^) in which he has already indulged : is he to go 
on saying this kind of thing .^ The words are not an exact 
quotation, but summarize Job's assertions of his innocence, 
which do not appear at all in his first speech (c. 3), and but 
indirectly in his second (6i^°- 2^- 26. 29f. y-Of.j^ g^^d first become 
prominent and emphatic (g^*"^^- ^^- ^ lo''*- '') in the speech to which 
Sophar now replies. — My doctrine\ for T\'ih-, cp. Dt. 32-, Pr. 4^ ; 
but read rather, My conversation (i.e. manner of life : lit. my 

5. Job had expressed the wish to speak with God (9^^), 
claiming that given fair conditions he could then establish his 
innocence: Sophar wishes God to speak with Job on a diff'erent 
subject, convinced that God could silence Job — a point which 
Job would have readily ceded (cp. 9^^*^) — by making him realize 
the infinite range of His wisdom (^^- ''■ "~i*') : here, as elsewhere, 
the friends cannot even perceive Job's point of view. — JVilh] 9- n. 

6. Maf^ellous] %^ double, paraphrased in EV. by "mani- 
fold"; see phil. n. — Resourcefulness] the word rendered sound 
counsel in 5^'-: see phil. n. on 5^-. 

6c. An isolated stichos, exceeding the usual length, and 

XI. 6-9.] SOPHAR 107 

^ Canst thou find out the immensity of God ? 

Canst thou attain to the Hmits of the Ahnii^hty? 
^ (They are) hig'h'^er than^ heaven ; what canst thou do? 

Deeper than Sheol ; what canst thou know ? 
* Longer in measure than the earth, 

And broader than the sea. 

curiously expressed. Its meaning, however, is clear : so far 
from being pure in God's sight, as you claim ('), and, therefore, 
unjustly treated by Him in being made to suffer, you are very 
wicked in His sight, and your sufferings, great as they may be, 
do not equal the greatness of your wickedness ; God forgets 
(cp. for the same idea expressed by other words, e.g. Am. 8", 
Is. 43^5 64S, Ps. 25^), i.e. lets you off the penalty of, part of 
your wickedness. The direct denial of * may be necessary (the 
view taken by Dr. in the phil. n.), though it is curious in this 
case that this direct denial is expressed by a single stichos in 
the middle of the half-dozen distichs devoted to the indirect 
repudiation of it: how can you claim such knowledge of God, 
who is infinite in wisdom, and familiar with man's iniquity (^^), 
as to assert that He thinks you just, though He treats you as 
unjust? Unless Bi. Du. are correct in rejecting ^"^ as a gloss, 
the words are probably a mutilated distich which may not have 
gone beyond contradicting Job's words somewhat as follows : 
Then thou wouldest know that God doeth rightly, that because 
of thine iniquity He chastiseth thee. 

7. Immensity^ the word (ipn) "means" ^ro^^xXj soynething 
to be searched out or explored: in 38^^ it is rendered [in EV.] 
" recesses " : and it denotes here the entire range of the divine 
nature. "The rendering 'by searching' is grammatically 
impossible" (Dr.), and, moreover, misses the point of the 
question, which is not whether, by a particular method^ God's 
nature can be read by man, but whether its vastness is by any 
method intelligible to him. The words emphasized by their 
position in the Hebrew are immensity and li?nits (nv3n : cp. 
26 w 28^). 

8, 9. The limits of the Almighty are beyond heaven and 
Sheol ; He knows everything in heaven and earth ; man cannot 

Io8 THE BOOK OF JOB [XI. 9-11. 

"^ If he pass through, and imprison, 

And call an assembly (for judgment), who can turn him 

" For he knoweth empty men : 

He perceiveth naughtiness, also, without considering it. 

escape his eye (cp. Ps. 139^'^); but what vast tracts of the 
divine knowledge are withdrawn from Job's ken ! Compared 
with the unknown and unattainable, his knowledge and efforts 
are nothing : how, then, does he claim (*) that he is righteous 
in God's judgment? Somewhere in these regions unexplored 
by Job, the judgment that Job is unrighteous may have been 
passed. Sgf. omits these vv., as also ^; cp. Du. 

10. Du. regards this as a misplaced distich of Job's speech ; 
Be. (see phil. n.) as an interpolation. If the v. is original, 
Sophar takes up Job's words (9^-) and turns them back upon 
him ; certainly, as you say, no one can stay God, if He seize or 
call to judgment, by saying he is not guilty : but this, not 
because God acts without regard to whether men are right or 
wrong, but because (^^) He knows the sins of men, however 
blind men like yourself may be to them. In this case we should 
perhaps read seize for pass through (see phil. n.), and possibly 
kill (^''LDp"') for call an assembly (Richter) ; otherwise, for the 
judicial assembly, cp. Ezk. \^^^ 23*'^^-, Pr. 5^*. 

11. God acts, unhindered (^^) and unerringly, because, unlike 
men who, even if they give the closest attention to the matter, 
are often deceived about both others and themselves. He 
knows all about men and their sins, instantaneously and with- 
out effort. The thought would be similar in 34-^, if the text 
there were correct. — Empty men\ so Ps. 26* (|| "dissemblers"). 
— Without considering it] Du. and it he co?isiderSy i.e. God gives 
heed to it ; al. which they consider, or 07ie considers, not, i.e. 
God perceives what man does not — a thought actually present 
in the passage, but not naturally expressed by p^, nor quite 
satisfactorily by the emendation proposed (see phil. n.). Jacob 
[ZATIV, 19 1 2, 283): being himself ttiiperceivedi}'^'^'^^'', Hithpolal 
for Hithpolel of ^fl) ; but this thought also is not required 

XI. 12-16.] SOPIIAR 109 

^2 And so a hollow man getteth understanding, 

And a wild ass's colt is born (again) a man. 
1^ \i thou direct thine heart aright, 

And stretch out thine hands towards him — 
'^ If naughtiness be in thine hand, put it far away, 

And let not unrighteousness dwell in thy tent — 
^^ Surely then thou wilt lift up thy face without spot ; 

And thou wilt be established and wilt not fear : 
^^ For thou wilt forget (thy) misery ; 

Thou wilt remember it as waters that are passed away : 

12. " As a result of the judgments of the Almighty (^*^'-), 
conceit and ignorance are removed, and a wilful, defiant nature 
(like Job's) is softened" (Dr.). This view of the v. makes it 
a transition to the thought of ^^"-^ ; but no such transition is 
obtained, if the v. is taken, as in itself it quite well might be, 
to mean : it is as impossible to get sense into an empty-headed 
man as to tame the untameable (39'') wild ass. See for this, 
phil. n. ; and for a collection and criticism of many other 
interpretations of the v., see Di. 

13-20. By submitting to God's judgments (10-12^ ^j^^j turning 
to Him, Job may yet return to prosperity and honour. 

13. T/iou\ the pron. is emphatic : even thou, with all thy 
wickedness, if thou wilt abandon it (^*), mayest be restored. — 
Hands] the hands opened (d^Q^ : cp. Ex, 9-^- ^^, Ezr. 9^, Ps. 
4421 8810(9) 6f 141-), and stretched out (K;ns : as i K. 822-54 
al. : cp. riDE'j Ps. 88^") in prayer: see 312'^ n., Is. i^^ ^^ Both 
here (see i^'*) and in Isaiah the context suggests that the idea 
of innocency may have been associated with the custom of 
stretching out the opened hand in prayer. But such associa- 
tion was scarcely constant, for with ;|3 the term T inter- 
changes : cp. e.g. Ps. 143^ 282. 

14. Hand] T: ct. Q^D3 in 1^. — b. Cp. 222^ (Eliphaz). 

15a. Cp. lo^'^^.-^lVithout spot] commonly and, if original, 
perhaps correctly taken as antithetical to lo^^b. c. job's face 
will no longer bear the marks of a guilty conscience. 

16. Waters that are passed away] the whole line as a 
parallel to ^ can only mean : or if you remember your misery 

IIO THE 1300K OF JOB [XI. 16-19. 

'^ And ' thyi life will rise up more (brightly) than the noonday ; 

Though it be dark, it will become as the morning. 
^^ And thou wilt be secure, because there is hope ; 

And thou wilt search (around), and wilt take thy rest in 

safety ; 
'■■' And thou wilt lie down, with none to make thee afraid. 

And many will make suit unto thee ; 
^^ But the eyes of the wicked will fail ; 

at all, it will only be a memory of something that is past or 
has vanished; for waters as perilous and dangerous, cp. 12^^ 
22^1 2'f-^, Is. 43^ ; for the vb. (lay) in the sense required, cp. 6^^ 
(of water as here, but more commonly of time, e.g. Ps. 90*). 
The vb. used of waters also means to overflo'w, to flood (Is. 8^, 
Nah. i^) ; but it is scarcely necessary to assume a play on the 
two meanings — waters once in perilous flood, but now vanished, 
and ill-advised to rob the line of its colour by reading (□"'D''), as 
days that are passed aivay (Ehrlich). 

17. Another striking antithesis to what Job had said (lo^^-) : 
Job's future need not be a day of darkness whose very noon is 
night, it may, if he wills, be a day brighter than any ordinary 
day at noon, whose very night is bright as morning (cp. 
Is. 58^«). 

18. Searching round, before going to rest for the night, 
finding nothing amiss. Job will lie down with a sense of 
security. — Search {around)\ the vb. (nan = «£.=»-) used in 3^1. 
Ehrlich suggests thou shalt he protected (^1?"!]"!, from "iQn = Jtri-, 
the sense protect being that of the Arabic, but not elsewhere in 
the OT. of the Hebrew vb.). On the not altogether certain 
text, see phil. n. 

19a. Recurs in Is. 17-, Zeph. 3^^; cp. also Is. 14^*^. — Lie 
do'wn\ the vb. (}*ai) involves, as in the references just given, an 
implicit comparison with animals (cp. Gn. 49^). 

19b. Lit. "And many will make svv^eet thy face." For 
make sweet the face, cp. Pr. 19^ Ps. 45^^ (as here of men), and, 
e.g., Ex. 32^^ Mai. 1^, Jer. 26^^. Note the parallelism of 
" thy face " with "the eyes of the wicked " in ^oa. If Job turns 
to God, instead of being given the cold shoulder, as poor men 


And their refug-e is perished from them, 
And their hope is the breathing out of the soul 

regularly are (cp. Pr. 19'^), and avoided as he is now (cp. 19^^-^^), 
he will become again a great and wealthy personage whose 
favour it is worth while to seek (cp. Pr. 19"). 

20a. But if Job remains wicked, he will look in vain for any 
deliverance from his present miserable position. In contrast 
with the directness of the first line of the distich, the alternative 
fate that awaits Job is stated indirectly : cp. 8'-'' after 8-^- -^a. 
—Eyes . . . will /ail] if, Dt. 2&^, La. ^^\ Ps. 6(^'^^^\ 

20b, C. As there is no hope of deliverance for the wicked (-^^), 
so there is no way of escape ; consequently their only hope is 
death, or, perhaps (see phil. n. on 31"''), despair. 

XII.-XIV. Job's reply to Sophar's first speech.— This, 
like his previous speeches (see on cc. 6f. and gf.), is only in 
part (122-13I9) addressed to the friends: the rest (1320-1422) is 
addressed to God. The connection in several places is difficult 
to detect, and some verses at least [12^'^-^ if not also ''^- ^^- "f-) 
seem out of place and no part of the speech. Grill {Zur Kritik 
der Komposition des Bucks Hiobs, p. 138".) goes so far as to 
omit i2-'-i32, Sgf. i2*-i3i, but that 12^^^- with its description 
of the activity of God as might not guided by moral considerations 
was interpolated as proof that Job could speak of God's •wisdom 
even better than Sophar, is improbable. Job begins by sarcasti- 
cally allowing that the friends are exceptionally wise (12^) — and 
yet their speeches have contained nothing but what was familiar 
to himself (3), and even to beasts (^-^O). What is said even on 
the authority of the aged must be received with discrimination 
(^"•). Job now himself descants on the mighty (though also, he 
suggests, capricious) activity of God (^2-"^), for he knows quite 
as much about this as do his wise friends (13"-) ; but all this is 
irrelevant to the case he has to argue out with God (^) : let the 
friends, then, keep silence, and not continue to show by their 
interpretation of God's activities partiality on God's behalf: let 
them beware lest He punish them for such conduct (*"^^). Let 
them keep silence while Job states his case against God : for 
stating it God may slay him : but he will take the risk : for he 


XII. ' Then Job answered and said, 

'^ No doubt but ye are "^they that know^, 

And with you wisdom will die. 

^ But I have understanding as well as you ; 
I am not inferior to you : 

Yea, who knoweth not such things as these? 

is certain of his innocence, and his readiness to face God should 
be a pledge of victory (^^"^^). And now Job turns to address God 
directly : Let Him not overwhelm Job with terror (20-22) ; but 
let Him state the iniquities C^^), if there are such, which would 
justify His present use of His might in pursuing so helpless a 
creature as Job (2*"^^). From his own case Job passes to that 
of mankind in general : Is any man — frail, shortlived and, 
unlike trees, without hope of reviving when once cut down in 
death — worth all the hostility shown by God {i^^~'^^)? If only 
God's anger might pass and give way even after death to friendly 
intercourse with Job, how willingly would Job await this change! 
p3-i5j_ gut there is no hope for either Job or man : God persists 
in being hostile and dwelling on Job's sins (^^'•) ; and He brings 
men one and all to death in which knowledge vanishes, and only 
pain remains (^'^"^^). 

2f. In ^ Job ironically concedes that the three friends are 
the only living, and will prove to have been the last surviving, 
embodiment of wisdom ; in ^, dropping the irony, he claims that 
all the wisdom uttered was previously and independently in his 
possession, and indeed in that of every man ; their would-be 
wise speeches have consisted of well-worn commonplaces. 

2. T/iev that know\ cp. 34^ : "^ people ; see phil. n. 

3. Understanding^ cp. 11^-: you were so good as to suggest 
that even I might get understanding ; judged by the standard 
of your " wise " speeches, I have it already. — b= 13-^. — Who 
knoweth not] lit. 7vith whom [are) not; with (nN*) like lo^^ (dv) : 
see n. there and Lex. 86a, top. 

4-6. The interpretation of these vv. is difficult, partly, it 
is probable, on account of textual corruption, partly because 
they are misplaced. Di. makes as good an effort as any one 
to establish a connection: Job "complains of the manner in 

XII. 4-5.] JOB 113 

* I am to be (as one that is) a laughing-stock to his neitfhbour, 

(A man) that called upon God, and he answered him ! 
The just, the perfect man, is a laug'hing'-stock ! 

* In the thought of him that is at ease there is contempt for mis- 

fortune ; 
(It is) ready for them whose foot slippeth. 

which, on the ground of such wisdom, they treat him, a pious 
man, who can boast of his inward relation to God — though to 
be sure it is like the world, which has only contempt for the 
unfortunate, while the prosperous godless remain untouched." 
"His neighbour" (^^) is on this view an oblique reference to 
Sophar or the three friends ; but Sophar and the other friends, 
though they have expressed their concern at what appears to 
them the impiety of Job's present manner of speech, and though 
they have suggested that his sufferings are due to his sins, 
have not Imighed (even in ii^^, as Ley suggests) at him or his 
calamities, nor is it altogether satisfactory to say that though 
they have not actually done so, Job may feel that they 

4. A laughing-stock^ one at whose helplessness or mis- 
fortunes men laugh as an expression of their (malignant) 
delight : cp. the use of the nouns in Jer. 20", La. 3^* (pnE'), 
Hab. i^° {\>WI2), and the vb. in 3o\ Ps. 52^ La, i^ — b. The 
line is commonly taken as descriptive of the speaker (Job) 
whom God answered in the past (cp. 29-"^) ; the part, (xnp) 
could of course refer to the past, but it is very questionable 
whether the line is a natural description of himself by Job at a 
time when, though he still calls, he appears to receive no 
answer. Ley treats the line as ironically descriptive of the 
neighbour {i.e. Sophar) ; in which case we should render ^- ° in 
English : To one that calls upon God and He answers him, A 
laughing-stock to the just, the perfect man. 

5. The v. is curiously phrased, of unusual rhythmical form, 
and the text cannot be implicitly trusted : see phil. n. — Contempt 
for misfoHune^ ^ may also be translated a contemptible torch ; 
but this yields nothing satisfactory, whether taken as continuing 
(^) " a laughing-stock, a contemptible torch," or as subj. of ^ 


I 14 THE ROOK OF JOB [XII. 6-8. 

" The tents of robbers prosper, 

And they that provoke God are secure ; 

(Even) he that bringcth (his) God in his hand ! 
'' But ask now the beasts, and they will teach thee ; 

And the fowls of the heaven, and they will tell thee : 
8 Or fthe crawling things of the earth, and they will teach thee : 

And the fishes of the sea will declare unto thee. 

6. Robbers] lit. 7vasiers, devastators. — b, C. The existing- 
text is commonly taken to mean : those are secure who provoke 
God by their wicked conduct ^ and " who so entirely disreg^ard 
God as to recognize only their own might as their god : cp. 
Hab. i^^ " this his might becometh his god." Still the form 
of the V. (a tristich), the change from the pi. in ^ to the sing. 
in ° and the curious phrasing of ° together throw doubt on the 
correctness of the text. 

7-IO. So far from the wisdom on which the friends pride 
themselves being their exclusive possession {^), not only Job (2), 
but the very beasts share it, '^~^°. This, if the passage is in 
its right place, must be the connection of thought ; but it is 
strangely stated ; for Job's charge is not that the friends lack 
the particular knowledge in question, and 7ieed to be taught, 
which is the point emphasized in ''^•, but that they have no need 
to teach things so universally known, ^°. Inasmuch as there 
are other suspicious features in the passage it may be mis- 
placed ; the address to a single person is very unusual in Job's 
speeches (26'^ n.), but would be at once explained if the passage 
originally stood in a speech of one of the friends (cp. '^* with 8^^) ; 
yet ^, at least, with its use of the name Yahweh (see Introd.), 
is more probably altogether foreign to the book. — Ask\ the vb., 
contrary to the prevailing use in Job's speeches, is sing., and, 
if the text and connection are original (but see above), addressed 
accordingly to Sophar exclusively ; Di. endeavours to account 
for this by suggesting that Sophar has deserved this special 
attention by his words " hollow man " in 1 1^-. 

8. The crawling things of the earth] "^ might be rendered 
either talk thou to the earth, or the plants {p^, as in 30'*) of (!? as 
in ^*: see phil. n.) the earth', but the text needs emending as, 
or substantial!) as, above ; see phil. n. 

XII. 9-10] JOB 115 

' Who knoweth not by all these, 

That the hand of Yahweh hath wrought this? 
^° In whose hand is the soul of every living' thing, 
And the breath of all flesh of man. 

pa. Bv all Ihese] i.e. by means of (3, as Gn. 42^^, Ex. 7^^, 
Nu. 16^^ — all with j;n% as here), by observing, all these creatures. 
Or the line may be translated, who among- C^, as, e.^., Is. 50^°; 
Lex. 88a bot.), t'.e. which of, all these (creatures) does not know. 
But the line may be merely a misplaced interpretation of ^'^, 
and have meant : Who doth not know the like (3 for 3) of all 
these things? In that case ^ ( = Is. 41^0°) would be an isolated 
stichos cited (originally on the margin) from Isaiah. In the 
present context it is not clear to what this refers. Some 
understand it to refer to the universe ; and appeal to the 
similar meaning of "all these" in Is. 66^, Jer. 14^^; but in 
these passages the heavens, etc., are mentioned in the im- 
mediate context. Others have explained this as (Hi.) pointing 
backward and referring to the security of the wicked (^) — not a 
likely theme for the beasts to discourse on ; or to the irresistible 
activity of God described by Sophar (ii^°^-), or as pointing 
forward to the activities of God described in ^^^- ; but, as Di. 
observes, ii^*'*- lies too far behind to be naturally referred to 
thus, and the pf. tense and the intervening vv. (^^'•) render the 
reference forward to ^^^- improbable. 

10. If ^ be an interpolation (see last n.), this v. contains the 
instruction given by the beasts, '^^- ; in this case render : that 
{-ma. as Ex. 11^, Lv. 5^, Dt. i^^ Eccles. 8^2; cp. 9^ phil. n.; Lex. 
83a bot.) in His (God unnamed, as in v.^^) hand is the soul of 
every living thing, etc. — All flesh of man\ a very strange expres- 
sion ; of man, it is true (Bu.), limits the expression all flesh, 
which without it might, but does not always (34^^, Nu. 16^- n.), 
include living beings not human ; but this fact does not make 
the expression natural or, least of all in poetry, likely. Equally 
insufficient is Del.'s suggestion that the addition of E'^n in- 
dividualizes the expression, as though the meaning were : the 
breath of each individual human being, ffi omits all flesh ; but 
rhythm scarcely permits a shortening of the line. Possibly of 
man is a corruption of some term parallel to "in his hand" 

Il6 THE BOOK OF JOB [XII. 10-13. 

" Doth not the ear test words, 

Even as the palate tasteth its food ? 
•'' With aged men is wisdom, 

And length of days is understanding. 

^^ With him is wisdom and might ; 

He hath counsel and understanding. 

in *, such as with Jmn, or he can withdraw (cp. 34^*, Ps. 

II ( = 34^), 12. The connection is still rather elusive : it has 
been claimed that '^~^° refer to what one could see of God's 
power, ^^^- to what one might learn by hearing what the aged 
had to say; cp. 13^ (so Dav. Dr.): on this view ^^ means: 
"does not the ear test the words which it hears, and accept 
those which, like the wisdom of the aged (v.^^)^ embody sound 
knowledge?" (Dr.). But does this allow for the unlimited 
range which ^^ claims for the discriminative faculty, or for the 
fact that the appeal to the wisdom of the ancients is elsewhere 
made by the friends, 8^^- 15^*^, and criticized by Job, so that the 
use made of it, on this interpretation, by Job in 1^, though not 
exactly inconsistent with what he has said before, is yet rather 
improbable? The point of the v. may then be rather this : as 
the palate discriminates between good and bad food, and ac- 
cepts the one and rejects the other (cp. 2 S. 19^^^^^^), so the ear 
discriminates between the true and false in whatever it is told ; 
you have poured your "wisdom" into my ears (12^), you refer 
me to what the ancients tell me ; but I will accept none of this 
unexamined : I will exercise my own judgment on it. On this 
view we must understand "you say" before ^'^ '. cp., on certain 
theories of those passages, 21^^- ^9. Sgf. rejects the vv. ; Di. 
suggests that if retained they might better stand between ^ and 
^ ; alternatively the difficulty of the connection may be due to 
the vv. being the fragmentary survival of a once longer passage. 

13. You say : ^^ wisdom resides in old men, ^^ I say it is to 
be found with God : so if both ^^ and ^^ originally belonged here 
we may least awkwardly connect them in thought ; but the 
antithesis is formally unexpressed and is very artificial, for the 
friends have never asserted that wisdom resides only in old men 

XII. 13-14.] JOB 117 

and not in God, and Job in ^^ does not assert that wisdom resides 
only (cp. c. 28) with God, and is not imparted by Him to men. 
Further, while ^^ speaks of wisdom, ^^ speaks of wisdom and 
might, so that in this respect, too, the sharpness and clearness 
of an antithesis are sacrificed. But while ^^ connects at best 
rather awkwardly with ^'-, it might form a starting--point for 
the illustrations which follow (i^-^^) of God's power, and, though 
this is much less prominent, of His wisdom. If the reference 
to God unnamed (which must be assumed even if ^^ originally 
followed ^^) can be tolerated, ^^ might follow ^ as Job's proof 
that his knowledge is not inferior to that of the friends. Du., 
retaining ^"-j rejects ^^ as a variant of ^^. — Counsel\ read, per- 
haps, power', see phil. n. 

14-25. Illustrations, derived from Job's own observation, 
of the way in which God's might (^^) "frustrates all human 
endeavour, and overthrows all human institutions " (Dr.). In 
all this Job traces no moral purpose ; cp. especially ^*^, so 
similar to 11^*' (Sophar), but not followed as in ii^^ by any 
suggestion that the men imprisoned by God are doers of 
imquity. The writer (if ^^- 2**- are integral to his poem) seems 
to have in mind not only Sophar's speech, but also Ps. 107, 
and perhaps Is. /^a^^~^'^ ; in any case -^^- -^"^ verbally reproduce 
Ps. 107*° and, by reason of vocabulary or figure, ^*^ recalls 

Ps. IO7I6, 15 Ps. 107^-36, 22b. 18 ps_ joyU 23. 24b. 25b pg, joy^- 7. 
27% 25a ps_ ^q^\Q . ^^Jth 17, cp. Is. 4425, with ^^a Js. 4427, But, 

whereas alike in the Ps. and Is. both the constructive and 
the destructive activities of God are presented, and these as 
determined by the different moral characters of men, here only 
the destructive activity is presented : so, e.g., here (^^) waters 
are withheld or destructively employed, but in Is. 4427 bene- 
ficently employed, in the Ps. given or withheld according to 
the character of the men concerned. So the Psalmist's survey 
reveals to the "upright" the loving-kindness, where the "up- 
right" (i^) Job sees only the might, of God. As in 7^'^*- Job 
parodies Ps. S'*^, so here he sees facts noted by another Psalmist 
under a very different aspect. 

14. Whether ^ refers to the destruction of cities (Peake) is 
not quite clear ; the line may refer figuratively to persons (cp. 

I 1 8 THE BOOK OF JOB [XII. 14-18. 

^* Behold, he pulleth down, and it cannot be built again ; 

He shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening-. 
^^ Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up ; 

Again he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth. 
^^ With him is strength and sound counsel ; 

He that erreth and he that leadeth into error, are his ; 
^"^ Who leadeth counsellors away stripped, 

And who maketh judges fools. 
^^ He looseth the ^bondsl imposed by kings. 

And bindeth a waistcloth on their loins ; 

Jer. i^°), both lines meaning: God ruins men's lives irretriev- 
ably. — Shutteth 7ip\ ^y "iJD ; but this does not necessarily refer 
to subterranean dungeons (cp. Jer. 38*^, La. 3^^) : for the same 
idiom is used in Ex. 14^. 

15a. Drought; b, destructive floods. Ct. Eliphaz's reference 
to rain. 

16. Sound counsel] 5^^ n. — b. All men belong to God, and are 
within the range and subject to the working of His might. — 
He that erreth, etc.] all men (see phil. n.), viewed particularly, 
perhaps, under the aspect of " nations misled by their states- 
men into a disastrous policy " (Dr.). In any case moral error 
is not primarily intended. 

17. Doing with them as He wills, God makes even the 
wise ones of the earth look foolish. There is as little reason 
to limit the historical allusions to the fortunes of Israel as the 
illustrations from nature in ^^ to Palestine : indeed the plural 
"kings" in ^^^ and the unmistakable reference to nations in 
^^'- make it as plain as may be that the author is reflecting on 
the rise and fall of nations, and of the ruin in which the most 
exalted and firmly established individuals in these nations are 
involved when their land and people are overthrown : there is 
no reason, therefore, to think with Du. specially of Jewish 
priests in ^^^ and of the descendants of David in ^^*'. — Who 
leadeth . . . aivay stripped^ probably due here to assimilation 
to ^^'^: the vb. in '"* originally was more closely parallel to that 
in ^ : see phil. n. 

18. He sets ut naught the power of kings, undoing the 

XII 18-23.] JOB 119 

^^ Who leadeth priests away stripped, 

And overthroweth them that are firmly established ; 

20 Who depriveth the trusty of speech, 

And taketh away the discretion of the elders ; 

21 Who poureth contempt upon princes. 

And looseneth the belt of the Tstrongl ; 

22 Who discovereth deep things out of darkness, 

And bring-eth out to light black gloom ; 

23 Who increaseth nations and destroyeth them ; 

Who spreadeth fpeoplesl abroad, and leaveth them. 

fetters they have placed on others *, and reducing kings them- 
selves to the position of captives ^ (cp. Is. 47) ; see phil. n. 

19. Similar treatment of other classes of ancient lineage 
and secure position. — Firmly established] men whose family 
have long held, and appeared likely long to hold (see phil. n.), 
their position : the priests in * are a particular illustration of 
such classes : in Israel, especially in later times, as among 
other peoples, the priesthood was hereditary. 

20. Speech] Heb. lipy as, e.g., Gn. ii\ Is. 19^^. — The 
trusty] especially perhaps "trusted ministers" (Dr.) of state: 
cp. Is. 19^^^-. 

2ia. = Ps. 107*°*. — Princes] or nobles {^2^11) ; cp. 22^ 34^^ 
(II "king"), I S. 2S = Ps. 113S (antithetical to "poor" and 
"needy"; cp. ffi here), Nu. 21^^ and Pr. 8^6 (jj Qnj>>)._ 
Looseneth the belt of] "Fig. for incapacitates; the flowing 
garments of the Oriental being girt up for active service 
(i K. i8*^ Is. 527, cp. Is. 45^)" (Dr.). Looseneth is lit. causeth 
to hang down. — Stro7ig] this word at least (see phil. n.), if not 
the whole line, requires emendation. Possibly ^ is a corrupt 
variant of (cp. Du.) ^o^^ and the whole v. secondary : cp. vv. 2^- 25, 

22. Bu. omits the v. as in its complete abstractness alien to 
the context: if in its right place, it must be figurative ; the 
deep, dark things have been explained as hidden plans and 
conspiracies of men (cp. Is. 29^^; so Di. Dr.), the depths of the 
divine nature (Schl.), the treasures of conquered cities (Hi.), 
the poor (Hgst. Du.). 

23. The rise and fall of nations illustrate God's caprice : He 

1 20 THE BOOK OF JOB ( XII. 23 XIU. 1 

** Who taketh away the understanding- of the chiefs of 

the earth, 
And causeth them to wander in a pathless waste. 
^ They grope in the dark without light, 

And ^they^ wander about (helplessly) like a drun- 
ken man. 
XIII. ^ Lo, mine eye hath seen all, 

Mine ear hath heard and understood it. 

makes them increase in numbers and extend their borders only 
thereafter to destroy and abandon them. This would form an 
effective climax and conclusion, and perhaps originally did so ; 
see on 2*'-. — Peoples] ^ nations^ as in *. — Leaveth] fH leadeth 
them [away] : see phil. n. Leaveth is rather anti-climactic after 
destroyeth in ^ : Ehrlich makes the v. refer exclusively to the 
destruction of nations, rendering. Who misleadeth peoples and 
destroyeth them, layeth peoples low and (so) leaveth them, 
giving to riDiy a meaning of the Ar. sataha, to prostrate. 

24 f. From the "nations" in -^, "^^^ returns to leading indi- 
viduals of the nations (as ^^~^^). Since the openings words are 
identical, -^"^ may be a variant of -*'^, and similarly '^^ of -^^, and 
a single distich (2ii'-25aj j^^y have completed the description of 
the nations in '^^. Alternatively ^^^- may have originally stood 
after ^i, completing the allusions to prominent individuals. 

24. Of the earth\ p^ (not (5) of the people of the earth. — 
Waste] T^hu : cp. 6^^ n. 

25. They grope] 5^^. — They wander about] i^ he causeth them 
to wander, exactly as ^^'^ (cp. Is. 19^'*). 

XIII. I-5. Resumes 12^: Job has himself observed every- 
thing relating to God's rule of the world, and is in such 
knowledge not a whit inferior to the friends, ^^- : he, indeed, 
interprets differently, and does not, as they have done, draw 
the conclusion that he is guilty. Of their false and worthless 
interpretation, he has had enough, and can only wish that they 
would keep silence, ^^- ; with God, not with them, he now 
wishes to speak and argue out the question of his guilt (^), and 
this is what from -^ onwards he actually does. 

I. All] not this (ffi), or all {this) — EV. : see phil. n. 

xm. 2-5.] JOB 12 1 

^ What ye know, / know also : 
I am not inferior unto you, 

* But /would speak unto the Almii^hty, 

And to arg^ue with God do I desire. 

* But ye are plasterers of falsehood, 

Physicians of no value are ye all. 

* Oh that ye would but hold your peace, 

And it should be your wisdom. 

2b. = 1 2^^. 

3. Argue] v.^^^ 

4. Plasterers of falsehood] cp. Ps, 119^''; here, persons w'ho 
use falsehoods as a whitewash or plaister (cp. '^) to hide defects : 
the defects which appear to Job so glaring in God's use of His 
might (i2'2~2^), the friends whitewash over with the assertion, 
known to Job to be false, that all who suffer from that might 
are wicked. — Physicians of no value] the word rophe is used 
widely enough (cp. Gn. 50^, 2 Ch. 16^^) to justify such a trans- 
lation in a suitable context. But worthless healers, or menders, 
would perhaps be better here. The friends are men who try 
lightly but fruitlessly to mend the broken scheme of things ; 
Du. pertinently compares for the use of the vb. and the here 
implicit figure, Jer. 6^* "And they lightly heal what is broken 
(in the body) of my people, saying. It is whole, it is whole, 
when it is not whole" (cp. Exp. Times, xxvi. 347 ff.). Others, 
falling back on a meaning of the root unknown in Hebrew, but 
paralleled in Arabic and Ethiopic {to mend, stitch together), render 
stitchers together of worthless {assertions) (so Di.), then cp. ^'^. 

5b. Cp. Pr. 17^^: even fools, if they have but the wit to 
keep silence, may pass for wise. 

6-19. Before, in ^^'^•, addressing God, as he has in ^ ex- 
pressed his intention of doing, Job, developing his accusation 
in ^, warns the friends of the risks they are, as it would seem 
unwittingly, running in using falsehoods in defence of God, 
^'^"; on the other hand, he himself will deliberately accept 
every hazard to which he may expose himself by asserting the 
truth, viz. that he is guiltless, i3-i6 . yg^^ fQj- ^i^g moment at 
least, he is sure that as God will resent the falsehood uttered 

122 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIII. 6-12. 

' Hear now the argument fofl my rmouthl, 

And attend to the pleadings of my Hps. 
' Will ye for God speak unrighteously, 

And for him talk deceitfully? 
^ Will ye show partiality for him ? 

Will ye contend for God? 
* Is it good that he should search you out? 

Or as one deludeth a man, will ye delude him? 
1" He will surely correct you, 

If in secret ye show partiality. 
^^ Will not his loftiness affright you ? 

And his dread fall upon you ? 
^2 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, 

Your defences are defences of clay. 

by the friends in His defence (^''), so He will admit the truth 
maintained by Job against Him (^^). 

6. Arg'U7nent\ or, inipeachynent, reproof', cp. Pr. i^^- ^s. — 
Pleadings\ or, accusations. 

7. Cp. 27*. 

8-10. Will you, as judges between me and God, show unfair 
favour to the stronger, pronouncing me guilty, though all the 
time I am innocent, in order that He may win His case? But 
God sees through this kind of thing (^), and so far from rewarding 
it punishes it (^°). — Show partialit}'\ lit. lift up the face, here with 
the sinister implication that this is done from corrupt motives : 
cp. Dt. 10^^ " Who doth not lift up the face, nor take a bribe " ; 
Pr. 18^ " It is not good to lift up the face of the guilty, (thereby) 
turning aside the innocent (from his right) in judgment " ; 
c. 32^1 34^^, Ps. 82^. The phrase may also be used without 
this sinister implication : see 42^*'. 

lOa. Anticipating 42'^^-. 

11. Loftiness\ 31^^, there also || to dread, for which cp. 
Is. 2^^-^^ (II "glorious majesty"), where it is explicitly used of 
the dread inspired by Yahvveh when He rises up to judgment. 
In view of 41^"'^-^^ we might also render uprising: so Du. 

12. The sayings, which to the friends themselves seem so 
wise, will prove worthless defences against God (^^). — Maxi7ns\ 

XIII. 12-16.] JOB 1 2 ^ 


^* Hold your peace, let me alone, that /may speak, 

And let come on me what will. 
1* *! will take my flesh in my teeth, 

And put my life in my hand ! 
^^ Behold, he will slay me ; I have no hope ; 

Nevertheless I will maintain my ways before him. 
^* Even that is to me (an omen of) salvation ; 

For not before him doth a godless man come. 

see phil. n. — Defences^ scarcely ramparts (see phil. n.), but 
rather bosses (cp. 15^^) of shields ; being- of clay instead of iron, 
their bosses are useless. 

13-15. Job intends at all hazards (cp. g^"-) to speak freely 
in maintaining his integrity. 

14. / take] f!^ wherefore do I take, which is incompatible 
with the context: RVm. "At all adventures I will take," is 
not a justifiable translation of f^ : see phil. n. The idiom in * 
does not occur again, but must be synonymous with put my 
life in my hand in *>, which means to imperil one's life (see 
phil. n.). Herz [Orient. Literature., Aug. 1913, p. 343, and 
fThSxv. 263), arguing, on the ground of Egyptian parallels, 
that the idioms mean to take extra care of one's life, defends ^. 

15. As in 7^^- g-^ 10^*', Job expresses his sense of the near 
approach of death. — / have no hope] lit. / wait not, sc. for 
anything better (cp. 14^^); Qre (cp. ^A SlJlJ KV .) for him 
(emphatic) / wait; see phil. n. — Maintain] lit. argue, prove 
right, as v.^. 

16. That] the fact that Job can and does maintain his 
integrity before God i^^^) : this is his ground of hope that he 
will ultimately have salvation, i.e. success or victory (so, e.g., 
Ps. i85\ 2 S. 23^*'), in his argument with God, and that God 
will admit and publish his innocence ; the reason for this hope 
lies in the fact (i^*^) that a godless man does not thus of his 
own accord approach God to argue his integrity. The sense is 
substantially the same if the v. be rendered, Even that is . . . 
that a godless man doth not come before him ; in this case ^*"' 
contains not the ground for the assertion in % but the explica- 
tion of the pronoun that: for the pronoun thus neutrally used, 

I 24 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIII. 16-22 

^^ Hear diligently my speech, 

And let my declaration be in your ears. 
^^ Behold, now, I have set out '^my^ case ; 

I know that I shall be justified. 
^^ Who is he that will contend with me ? 

For then would I hold my peace and give up the ghost. 

20 Only two things do not unto me, 

Then will I not hide myself from thy face : 

2^ Thine hand withdraw far from me ; 
And let not thy terror affright me. 

2- Then call thou, and / will respond ; 

Or I will speak, and answer thou me. 

see is'' 31^^. The rendering, Even He, viz. God, is my salva- 
tion (RVm.), is unsatisfactory; since ^, which must be then 
rendered/or, etc., does not go well with it. — Godless] 8^^ n, 

18 f. After an appeal {^'', regarded by Bi. Di. Du. as inter- 
polated) to the friends not merely to give him the opportunity 
to speak (^^), but also to listen carefully to his statement of his 
case, Job repeats in different ways his conviction of his innocence 
already expressed in ^^^- : the clear statement of his case (^^) 
must carry conviction ; he will obtain a verdict of innocent {^^^) ; 
so clear a case as his no one would care to challenge {^^) ; were 
it otherwise. Job would rather die than live (^^^). 

l8. I have set out my case] in ^^^- : see phil. n. — I shall he justi- 
fied] the justice of my plea will be admitted, and I shall be pro- 
nounced to be in the right in the case at issue : cp. 1 1^, Is. 43^- 2^. 

19a. Is. 50^ 

20. From here on Job addresses God ; and first he begs, as 
he has done previously (9^*), that God will allow the case to be 
decided fairly and in a legal way, and not by the exercise of 
God's irresistible might ; this only granted, Job is certain of 
establishing his case whether — he gives God the choice — he 
prefers a charge against God, or God prefers one against him. 

21. Cp. 9=5-^ 337. 

22. Let God be plaintiff (^) or defendant (*^), as He will ; cp. 
(^^^•. — Call] or cite'. 9^^ n. — Answer] 9^** n. 

XIII. 23-26.] JOB 12; 

22 How many are mine iniquities and sins? 

Make me to know my transgression and my sin. 
'21 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, 

And holdest me for thine enemy? 
^^ Wilt thou scare a driven leaf? 

And wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? 
-''' That thou writest bitter things against me, 

And makest me to inherit the iniquities of my youth : 

23 ff. God failing to respond to Job's invitation in ~-°' to 
formulate His charges, Job speaks on ; not, however, strictly 
according to the figure of ^^^, in the form of a legal indict- 
ment, but at first suggesting by a series of questions that he 
is suffering far beyond the deserts of any failings of his (23-28^ . 
then passing on to reflections on God's pitiless treatment of 
mankind in general (14^"^^), returning in ^^~^'' to his own case, 
and appealing in ^^"^^ to God's pity, only in ^^^- to record again 
the actual ruthlessness of His treatment of him, and (is- 22^ ^f 
men in general. 

23. Job, though "perfect" (iMi.), does not deny that he 
has sinned (cp. ^^^); but how often? how greatly? not enough 
to deserve all the suffering that he endures ; hence his implicit 
charge against God that He is punishing undeservedly and 

24. Hidest thou thy face] refusest to be friendly ; for the 
idiom, cp. Ps. 30^^'^^ ("in thy favour," and "thou hidest thy 
face " — antithetical parallels), 1042^, 27^ (" hide the face " || " cast 
off in anger"). Is. 54^; for "the hiding of the face " in resent- 
ment for sin committed and wrong done against God (cp. v.23 
here), see Is. 57^'^, Dt. 31^^. — b. Cited by Elihu, 33^". 

25 ff. Is it worthy of one mighty as God with such persistent 
severity to treat one so helpless and incapable of resistance as 
Job? cp. 7-° 10^^. — Scare a driven leaf\ make to tremble with 
fright (cp. py in Is. 2^^- -^) a dry leaf already driven (Lv, 26^^) 
hither and thither by the wind. — Pursue dry stuhhle\ put to 
flight (s]Ti in Dt. 32^*^, Am. i^^) what scurries away of 

26. Writest bitter things\ passest on me sentence to painful 


^^ And that thou piittest my feet in the stocks, 

And markest all my paths : 

About the soles of my feet thou drawest thee a line ; 
^ Though (one such as) he falleth away like a rotten thing, 

Like a garment that is moth-eaten. 

punishment : on the custom of recording in writing judicial 
sentences, see n. on Is. lo^. In view of '' a judicial is more 
probable than a medical figure here : the meaning of * is not, 
therefore, that Thou prescribest for me bitter medicines (Hi.); 
of written medical prescriptions among the Hebrews there is no 
evidence. — b. Job had sinned in the carelessness of youth like 
others (cp. i^, Ps. 25''') ; but is it worthy of God to drag up 
these old offences, and make Job suffer for them now? Even 
in youth he had not sinned more than others : why does he 
suffer more? 

27. Job's condition figured as that of a prisoner whose 
movements are impeded, and who is kept under close watch. — 
Stoc/cs] a different word from that so rendered in EV. of Jer. 
2o2f- 29-*^ and RVm. of 2 Ch. i6^°; on the ground that some move- 
ment along paths (^) is possible, some (Du. Peake) suppose 
that the Hebrew term used here (sad) denotes not fixed stocks, 
but a block of wood fastened to the legs of captives to impede, 
though not altogether prevent, movement from place to place. 
Yet it is doubtful whether the idiom favours this interpretation ; 
and in the Talmud sadda is certainly something that, like stocks, 
confines the person to a single spot : Levy [NHWB, s.v.) cites 
from Pes. 28^ "The ^a^-maker sits in his own sad" — i.e. is 
punished by means of his own workmanship. If stocks is right 
here, Job "compares himself to a malefactor, at one time (*) 
held fast in the stocks, at another (^) narrowly watched, and 
(°) unable to pass beyond prescribed bounds" (Dr.). — Soles\ 
Heb. roots. On Du.'s interpretation of , see phil. n. 

28. The text, meaning and position of the v. have been 
questioned ; but see phil. n. 

XIV. I-3. How strange (cp. 13^^) that God should strictly 
call to account creatures so frail, shortlived, and (cp. 7^"^) full 
of unrest as m?,n ! The parallelism is better, if we render in ^*, 

XIV. 1-6.] JOB 127 

XIV. ' Man that is born of woman 

Is of few days, and full of trouble. 
^ He Cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down : 

He fleeth also like a shadow, and continueth not. 
^ And upon (one like) this dost thou open thine eyes. 

And bring- "^him^ into judgment with thee? 
* Oh that a clean thing could come out of an unclean ! not one (can). 
^ If his days are determined, 

The number of his months is known to thee, 

(And) his limit thou hast appointed that he cannot 

pass ; 
^ Look away from him, "^and^ forbear. 

Till he can enjoy, as an hireling, his day. 

Man is born of woman ; or (Di.) ^-2, Man that is born of woman, 
Of few days, and full of trouble, Cometh forth . . ., Fleeth, etc. 
— Bom of 'woman\ of such frail origin. — Of few days\ even a life 
of patriarchal length (42^") may he regarded as brief (Gn. 47^). 

2a. Cf. Ps. 906 10315'-, Is. 406'-.— b. Cp. 8^ n. 

3. Cp. 7^^^ 

4. Cp. 4^^'-, Ps. 51^ H and see phil. n. 

5f. If, as is the case (^'•), man's life is brief, the fact is both 
known to and ordained by God; let God, then, desist (*^^) from 
His unkindly gaze (^), that man may get at least some pleasure 
before his brief hard life is over. — If\ the hypothetical is 
awkward : if correct, the whole of ^ may be protasis (so Di.) ; 
then render: If his days are determined, (And) the number of 
his months known, etc. — His days\ (&-\-7ipoii earth: rhythmi- 
cally the line would admit, and indeed be improved by some 
addition ; but something like by thee would be preferable. — 
Knowti to] Heb. 7t)ith : see 9^^ n. 

6. Look away from] 7^^ 10^^ n. — And forbear] or desist, 7^® n. 
"%} That he may cease. — Till] or : to the point that (ny as Is. 47'^; 
Lex. 725Z1, 3). — An hireling] a. labourer hired by the day : 7^''n. 
— His day] i.e. the close of his life ; at least let the evening of 
man's life be free from God's ill-treatment : cp. lo^"'-. 

7-IO. The plea (^) for some brief snatch of enjoyment before 

128 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIV. 7-12 

"^ For there is hope of a tree : 

If it be cut down, it will sprout again, 
And its shoots will not cease. 
^ Though its root wax old in the earth, 

And its stump die in the ground ; 
^ At the scent of water it will bud, 

And put forth branches like a young plant. 
^^ But a man dieth, and "^passeth away^ : 

Yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 
^^ Waters fail from a lake, 

And a river decayeth and drieth up ; 
^2 And (so) man lieth down and riseth not : 

Till the heavens be no more, they will not awake. 
Nor be roused out of their sleep. 

death is based on the impossibility of any enjoyment after 
death ; man once dead, unlike a tree that is cut down, cannot 
be rejuvenated and start life again, but passes away for ever 
leaving no trace behind. There may be some reference here 
to specific, deliberate treatment of trees such as Wetzstein (in 
Del.) reports as customary on the east of Jordan, especially 
round Damascus ; trees which through age begin to decay and 
to yield poor crops are cut down — close to the ground in the 
case of vines, figs, and pomegranates, and within a few feet of 
it in the case of the walnut ; the next year new shoots spring 
from the root, and these subsequently bear fruit freely : all 
that is needed is what Job mentions as a coiiditio sine qua non 
— abundant water. 

8. Siutnp] yij : Is. ii^ (see n. there). — TIic ground] Heb. the 
dust, as 5^. 

9. At the scent of water] cp. " As a string of tow is broken, 
when it scenteth the fire," Jg. 16^. 

10-12. Cp. 77-10. 
II. = Is. ig'*; see phil. n. 
* 12b, C. Man will never (cp. Ps. 'j2^- '^- ^"^ 89^". 37f.j awake from 
the sleep of death. 

13-15. Would that it were otherwise, and that God would 
make Sheol not a land of no remembrance to which in His 

XIV. 13-16.] JOB 129 

'^ Oh that thou vvouldest hide me in Sheol, 

That thou vvouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath turn, 

That thou wouldest appoint me a limit, and remember me ! 
^* If a man die, will he live (again) ? 

All the days of my warfare would I wait, 

Till my release should come : 
^^ Thou shouldest call, and /would answer thee : 

Thou wouldest yearn after the work of thine hands. 

ang-er He sends men for ever, but an asylum (provided by His 
love for His creatures, ^^^), while His wrath is abroad. If only 
it were certain that after a fixed period, God would remember 
Job (as He remembered Noah, the object of His grace, in the 
asylum of the ark, Gn. 8^ P), and summon him back from 
Sheol and death ; how willingly would Job wait, thus knowing 
that in the end life and friendly intercourse with God would be 
renewed. But there is no hope of such a future (I6-22 especially 
i9c-22^_ Thus Job here considers the idea, and the meaning if 
it were real, though he still dismisses the reality, of a future 
life of communion with God: previously (7^'^^) he has simply 
doubted the existence of such a future, without contemplating 
its significance if it were real. 

13. Turn] cp. g^^, Gn. 27**'-. 

14. Line * is perhaps misplaced, or a marginal annotation. 
Even if rendered, as by Du. (see phil. n.), " If only a man might 
die, and live again," it forms a bad parallel to ^^°. — Warfare] 
7^ n. — Release] or relief from Sheol ; the word appears to 
embody a military figure of one soldier or troop being replaced 
and so relieved by another (cp. on 10^'^) ; but obviously the 
figure is not to be pressed. 

15a. Cp. 13'^"*, though t\\G Jjgiire oi th^t line is not repeated 
here. — Yearn after] cp. "seek diligently for," 7-^ n. — The work 
of thine hands] cp. io^-^~^"^. 

16 f. Job has expi'essed the wish for a happier future in i3-i5^ 
for God's present atiiitude to him is so unfriendly and unfor- 
giving that something different can but be desired, but (18-22^ 
that happy future of his hopes will not be realized. Such is 
the meaning and connection of the vv. as expressed in the above 

130 THE BOOK OF JOB [XI V. 16-19. 

'^ For now thou numberest my steps : 

Thou dost not "^pass^ over my sin. 
^"^ My transgression is sealed up in a bagf, 

And thou fastenest up my iniquity. 
^^ But indeed a mountain falling crumbleth away, 

And a rock is removed out of its place ; 
^^ The waters wear the stones ; 

The overflowings thereof wash away the dust of the earth : 

And (so) thou destroyest the hope of man. 

translation. But it is not altogether natural, and much in the 
vv. is ambiguous : they have accordingly been by others under- 
stood to contain a continuation of the description in ^^ of God's 
friendly attitude hoped for in the /i/ lure (see phil. n.); but 
unfortunately this view, too, cannot conveniently be accommo- 
dated to the vv. throughout ; if it were right we should expect 
in 1''* the impf. as in the other lines rather than the part. (°00)' 

16. F'or now] as 7^^ : equally legitimate is the rendering yj?;' 
then; so 3^^. — Thou jiumberest my steps\ watchest my move- 
ments to take account of the least slip : cp. 31* (34^^) and for the 
thought, 13^'^. If the vv. describe the future, it would be best 
to read (cp. S) : For then thou wouldest not number my steps. 
— Pass over] so ffi ; %] watch over, which would suit a descrip- 
tion of the future ; but to accommodate ^ to a description of 
the present, the line must be translated interrogatively (possible, 
but awkward) : " Dost thou not watch over my sin ? " 

17. Job's transgressions are recorded by God in a writing 
(cp. Jer. 17^) which is bound and sealed up (cp. Qinn ~ilV, Is. 8^^). 
— Sealed up] for security in a bag ("ilii") to be brought forth 
thence for punishment: cp Hos. 13^2 "Bound up (-inv) is the 
iniquity of Ephraim," Dt. 32^'*. — Fastenest up] lit. plasterest (13'*) 
over : here, parallel to is sealed up, the phrase apparently means 
plasterest over with wax. Bu., who adopts the view that the 
vv. refer to the future, understands the figure to be that of 
giving a white appearance (cp. Is. i^^) to (red) sin; the line 
then means that God forgives Job's sins. 

18. 19. The emphatic words in ^^ are mountain and rock : if 
even these mighty things come to destruction, how much more 

XIV. 19-XV.] JOB 131 

-^ Thou prevallest for ever ag^ainst him, and he passelh ; 
Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him 

2^ His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not ; 

And they are brought low, but he perceiveth them 

22 Only his flesh upon him hath pain, 
And his soul upon him mourneth. 

{^^) does man die without hope of living again ! On ^^* see 
phil. n. ; ^^^ is cited in 18'. — Bu^] an emphatic adversative, 
which would be best explained b}^ the view that the description 
of the desired but despaired of future extends down to ^''; but 
see on '^^^•. 

20. Passeth] away, dieth : so lo^i, 2 S. 12^3, Ec. i* 3-**, 
Ps. 39^* — a common sense oi halaka in Arabic. — Thou changest 
his comitenance\ in death, when "Decay's effacing fingers. 
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers." 

21. Dismissed ("*^^) to Sheol, the dead no longer have know- 
ledge (Ec. 9^) even of what would, if they were alive on earth, 
most intimately concern them : cp. 22^^. Since from ^^ and, in 
particular, ^^ onward, the direct personal reference is abandoned 
and the fate of man in gfeneral is depicted, ^^ is not, of course, 
inconsistent with i^^ (the loss of Job's children). — Are brought 
low\ come to dishonour: see phil. n. 

22. Knowledge does not survive death : sentiency does : 
the dead man feels the pang-s of decay, as the flesh still clothing 
him moulders away, and his soul can grieve for the dreary 
existence to which he is condemned in Sheol. Cp. Judith 16^'''^ 
"they shall weep at feeling," viz. the fire and u^orm sent into 
their decaying flesh : see also Is. 66^*. — Upon hin{\ lo^ n. 
On various mistaken views of the phrase (such as : only so 
long as his flesh is upon does he feel pain ; or, only for him 
does his flesh feel pain), see Di. or Bu. 

XV. Eliphaz's second speech.— This, the opening speech 
of the second cycle, consists of a rebuke of the irreverent tone 
of Job's speeches, of his rejection of gentler correction, such as 
Eliphaz had off"ered in his previous speech (^^), and of his hard 

132 THE BOOK OF JOB [XV. 2-4. 

XV. ^ Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, 

2 Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge, 

And fill his belly with the sirocco, 
2 Arguing- with unprofitable talk, 

And with speeches, wherewith he can do no good? 
* Yea, thou doest away with fear. 

And restrainest musing before God. 

and obdurate temper (^~^*), leading up to the charge that he is 
wicked beyond the general unrighteousness of men (^*"^^), and 
a warning picture of the dark and hopeless fate of the wicked 
^i7-35j_ fhe attitude of Eliphaz in his second is obviously 
severer than in his first speech : in the first he addresses Job 
as one who indeed fails to accept his sufferings with the 
patience which he had formerly recommended to others, but 
who is still held by religion (4^) ; here, as one who is abandon- 
ing religion (15*), and giving way to positive blasphemy (^^•) ; 
in the first speech Eliphaz introduces the universality of human 
unrighteousness (4^^*')) b'^^ "*^^' ^^ here (^*~-'^), to suggest that 
Job's wickedness exceeds it ; and, again, in the first speech 
Eliphaz seeks to induce resignation in Job by his closing 
picture of the ultimate felicity of those who humbly receive 
suffering, while here he seeks to terrify Job out of what he 
now regards as his exceptional wickedness by a closing picture 
of the fate of the wicked, 

2. Cp. 8^ 11^. — A -wise man] such as Job claims (12^ 13^'') to 
be: it is less probable (see phil. n.) that Eliphaz asks whether 
he as a wise man should f?iake a fisiver to ]oh''s words. — Windy 
knowledge] cp. 8"^ 16^. — His belly] whence, and not from the 
heart (8^°), the seat of understanding, words expressing windy 
knowledge are spoken. — The sirocco] violent (cp. 8^) and hurt- 
ful (cp. i^^ n.). 

3. Arg-iiitig] 13^-'': Job had desired to argue with God, but 
his words had been of no use : they had not helped to establish 
his case. 

4. Doest away with] frustratest (5^^), annullest, destroyest. 
— Fear] of God, i.e. religion, as in 4^. Line^ is doubtless parallel 
to ^ and expresses the same general idea, viz. that Job has 

XV. 4-7.] ELIPHAZ 1 33 

^ For thine iniquity teacheth thy mouth, 

And thou choosest the toni^-ue of the crafty. 

* Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I ; 
And thine own lips testify against thee. 

"^ Wast thou the first one born a man ? 

Or wast thou brought forth before the hills ? 

become positively irreligious, * referring to inward sentiment, 
'' perhaps to the outward observance of religion ; but the exact 
meaning of both vb. and object is uncertain : restraiiiest sh.o\i\d, 
perhaps, rather be impairest, diniinishest : the vb. (yij) means 
to subtract (as opposed to add — Dt. 4^, Ec. 3^*, and in Nif. Nu. 
36^^-), withdraw (v.^ 36'^ and, pointed Piel, 36^'^ ("•))> dimmish 
(Ex. 21^"). The Nif. in Nu. 9'^, sometimes cited for the meaning 
restrain, means to be withdrawn: see n. there. — Mvsing^ the 
noun (nn^K^) occurs also in Ps. 119^'' ("Thy law is (the subject 
of) my musing") ^^ f : on the root see phil. n. on 7^^. Du. 
detects here a reference to the reverential silence required of 
worshippers (cp. Zee. 2^^, Hab. 2-*^). Bu. renders ^: And thou 
drawest coinplaints (niT'K' as rT'C in 7^^ 9^'^ lo^ 21* 23-) before 

5. Not (RVm.) thy motith teacheth thine hiiquitvy i.e. your 
words show and prove that you are wicked : for this anticipates 
^, is against the usage of the vb. (n?^l, 33^^ 35^^ t), and not 
favoured by the order of the words. — Choosest the tongue of\ 
i.e. speakest like: Job, like the "crafty" serpent of Gn. 3^^-, 
endeavours by what he says to misrepresent God. — The crafty^ 
5^2— the only other place in Job where the term is used — Gn. 3^: 
in Pr.f the word is used with the good sense o{ shrewd, wise. 

6. The v. is placed by Du. before ^^. — Thine own mouth 
condemneth thee] 9^**. 

7f. But is Job so very wise (cp. ^^)? Is he the oldest, and 
so the wisest, of men ? or does he attend God's council, and 
so possess wisdom withheld from other men ^? Some such 
extravagant hypothesis would be required, if Job were really 
wiser than Eliphaz, the aged recipient of revelations. V.^ is 
grammatically ambiguous (see phil. n.): it might mean, Didst 
thou in the past, or dost thou habitually in the present. Taking 

134 THE BOOK OF JOB [XV. 7-10. 

^ Dost thou hearken in the council of God ? 

And dost thou monopolize wisdom to thyself? 
^ What knowest thou, that we know not? 

What understandest thou, which is not in our knowledge? 
^•^ Among- us are both the grey-headed and the aged, 

Older than thy father in days. 

it in the former sense many see in ^ as well as ^ an allusion to 
the myth of a primeval man, older than creation : so Di. who 
compares the Indian Manu. In '^, if '^'' be taken strictly, some 
such idea certainly seems to be present ; unless with Bu. we 
see in '^ a reference to Pr. 8"-*^-, and so take "^^ to mean : Art 
thou personified Wisdom itself? — Broitght forth before the hills\ 
Pr. 8^5 : cp. Ps. 90^. Du. before the high ones (dM3J for niya:), 
i.e. the angels — unnecessarily. 

8. Dost thoii\ or didst thou : see above. — Council of God\ i.e. 
the circle of those admitted to intimacy with Him, especially 
the angels (Ps. 89* ^''\ cp. i K. 22^^^-), but the council of Yah- 
weh is also conceived as accessible to true prophets (Jer. 2.'^'^'). 
— Mo7iopolise\ lit. withdrai!} (see v.* n.), i.e. withdraw (from 

pf. So far from having the wisdom of the most ancient, Job 
has no wisdom beyond that of the friends : and so far from 
being the most ancient of men, among them are men (or is a 
man) old enough to be Job's father. 

9. Cp. 12^ 13^ (Job). — In our kno'wledge\ lit. toith us: see 
9^^ n. 

10. The experience of age is on the side of the friends and 
against Job. — A??iong us arc] unless the first pers. pi. in ^ and 
here has different meanings, the meaning is : among us three 
friends is, one of us three is : in that case the adjectives, which 
are in the singular, refer to an individual, and doubtless to 
Eliphaz who thus with conventional modesty refers to himself: 
then render, Ai?io?ig tis is one that is both grey-headed and aged. 
One that is older, etc. Others have taken the phrase to mean : 
among us Temanites (Hi.), or among ourselves (Umbr.), or 
among people who share our opinions (Hgst.) : then the 
singular adjectives should be taken collectively as above. 

XV. 11-16.] ELIPHAZ 135 

^^ Are the consolations of God too small for thee, 

And a word (that dealeth) g-ently with thee ? 
12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away ? 

And what do thine eyes hint at? 
^ That thou turnest thy spirit against God, 

And lettest (such) words go out of thy mouth. 
^^ What is man, that he should be clean ? 

And that one born of woman should be rig^hteous? 
^ Behold in his holy ones he putteth no trust. 

And the heavens are not clean in his sight. 
1^ How much less one that is abominable and tainted, 

A man that drinketh in unrighteousness like water. 

II. Ought Job to have rejected as worthless and unadapted 
to his case Eliphaz's former gentle and (cp. especially 5^^*^-) 
consolatory speech? — The consolations of God] Eliphaz feels 
that, since he is the recipient of revelations (4^^'*-), what he 
says is not merely his own, but God's speech : cp. 22^2; Job's 
sentiment is different (212). — Gently] see phil. n. : AV. RVm. 
erroneously give to ^iO the meaning secrel (cp. t2N^Zi, Jg, 421 _ 

t2^3, I S. l822). 

12 f. Why is Job so passionate as to turn his temper and 
speak against God : so, if the connection is right : between ^^ 
and 13 Du. inserts ^, rendering ^^ jp^f, /^^^^ turnest^ etc. — Hint 
ai\ see phil. n. 

13. Spirit] in the sense of passion or temper : cp. Jg. 8^, 
Pr. 16^2^ — Lettest {such) words go] or, emending, bringest forth 
defiance \ cp. 232 and see phil. n. 

14 f. Varied from 4i'^f- ; cp. also 92^^ 254^-. In 1* the parallel- 
ism intended was perhaps of a. b | b'. a' type (Gray, Forms oj- 
Hebrew Poetry, 64 f.), in which case render: What is man, that 
he should be clean. And (what) that he should be righteous, (is) 
one born of woman? — One born of woman] 14I n. 

15. His holy ones] the angels : cp. 4^^. — The heavens] cp. 
"moon . . . stars" in 25^; and " the very heavens for purity " 
(inD^ ; cp. -)nn\ c. 4^^), Ex. 241*'. 

16. The a fortiori after ^^^- is significantly different from 4^^ : 
there, how impossible for frail, shortlived mortals to be pure 

136 THE BOOK OF JOB [XV. 16-10. 

^^ I will tell thee, hear thou me ; 

And that which I have seen I will relate; 
^* (Which wise men do declare, 

Without hiding it, from their fathers ; 
^^ Unto whom alone the land was given, 

And no stranger passed among them :) 

in God's sight ; here, how impossible for Job (cp. 34'^), who 
deliberately soaks himself with unrighteousness, to escape the 
fate of the wicked, which Eliphaz now proceeds to unfold {^'^^•). 
— Drinketh . . . like waler] in great gulps, greedily like a 
thirsty man ; cp. Ps. 73^*'. 

17-19. The vv., as a solemn introduction to the main theme 
of the speech, correspond to 4^^"^^ in Eliphaz's first speech : 
what Eliphaz is about to tell Job is the fruit of his own experi- 
ence (^^'^) during his long life (^*'), confirming and confirmed by 
that of past generations (cp. 8^~^°, Bildad) who had dwelt in 
the land as a pure, unmingled community, undiluted by aliens, 
and so maintaining an uncontaminated tradition, a dogma of 
unimpeachable orthodoxy. 

17. Seen] i.e. learnt, experienced : cp, 24^ 27^^^ 

18. From their fathers] having received it from their fathers. 

19. It is tempting to infer from this v. some definite con- 
clusion as to the date of the writer, but perhaps delusive ; for 
it is not clear whether the writer intends by the land, the home 
of Eliphaz, viz. Teman, or Canaan (so Bu. Du.). If Canaan 
is intended, a contrast appears to be drawn between the present, 
when Canaan is not the sole possession of Israel and Israel is 
not an unmixed race, and a time in the past when Israel un- 
contaminated held Canaan unshared and by undisputed right ; 
the event dividing the two periods has been held to be the Fall 
of Samaria (721 B.C.), and the settlement of foreigners in the 
Northern kingdom (cp. 2 K. i^'^^^-), or the Exile of Judah (from 
586 B.C.). Du. by precarious detailed arguments infers that 
Job is three or four generations removed from the pre-exilic 
" fathers," and that about the middle of the 5th cent. B.C. is 
accordingly the latest date for the poet. But all this falls 
to the ground if Del., as is possible, is right in feeling that 

XV. 19-22.] ELIPHAZ 1 37 


All the days of the wicked man, he travaileth with pain, 
And the number of the years (that are) laid up for the 

2^ A sound of terrors is in his ears ; 

In prosperity the spoiler will come upon him : 
22 He believeth not that he will return out of darkness, 
And he is rreserved^ for the sword : 

Eliphaz, in genuine Arab fashion, is merely boasting- of the 
purity of his own tribe of Teman, and placing the origin of the 
doctrine he is about to proclaim back in a remote past when 
that purity of the tribe was still greater than now. — The land] 
not, here, the earth. — Stranger] of alien race; 19^^* n. — Passea 
among them] passed to and fro among (lin3) them, became one 
of them (Del. Bu.), rather than passed through them as an 
enemy (Di.) — the force of 3 lay in Nah. 2^ (i^^); cp. "And 
Jerusalem shall be holy. And aliens shall no more pass through 
it"(Jl. 4^7). 

20-35. The fate of the wicked. 

2O-24. Even while the wicked seem to prosper, they are 
in reality tormented by the expectation that misfortunes, such 
as are described in 21-24^ ^ju overtake them : such a theory — it 
is nothing more — helps to bolster up the orthodox dogma 
maintained by the friends that the wicked do not prosper : the 
apparent prosperity of the wicked, they argue, or rather assert, 
is not real ; the happiness which their outward possessions 
might seem to ensure is destroyed by inward forebodings : far 
truer to life is the delineation of the temper of the prosperous 
in Lk. 12^^. — The tyrant^ the parallel term to "wicked men" 
in * ; and, therefore, virtually equivalent to him : but see phil. 
n. For the meaning of the term, see &^ n. 

21. Spoiler] or robber, 12^. 

22. Return out of darkness] This should naturally mean : 
recover prosperity after the misfortunes of his forebodings have 
befallen him : we should rather expect (cp. -^^), even if it were 
necessary to read "11D for DItJ', avoid darkness, i.e. misfortune: 
he has no hope of escaping from misfortune, whether that take 
the form of violent death C"^^^), or (23^) being reduced to beggary. 

138 THE BOOK OF JOB [XV. 23-26, 

2^ He wandereth abroad for bread, (saying), '* Where is it? " 

He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his 

hand : 
2* Distress and anguish affright him ; 

They prevail against him, as a king ready for the fray : 
^^ Because he hath stretched out his hand against God, 

And behaveth himself proudly against the Almighty ; 
^^ He runneth upon him with a (stiff) neck. 

With the thick bosses of his shield ; 

23. Possibly -2'^- 2^^ have been transposed ; adopting emen- 
dations noticed in the phil. n., we might then read: 

-^ He believeth not that he will avoid the darkness, 

^^ He knoweth that his calamity is ready ; 

-3* He is wandering abroad for bread (saying), " Where is it? " 

^^^ And he is reserved for the sword. 

2* The day of darkness affrighteth him. 

Distress and anguish prevail against him. 
The last clause of ^^ is then the third stichos of a tristich 
unless we place it after ^^^ (cp. Du.), to which it would form an 
admirable parallel. 

24. Prevail against\ 14^^. — As a kiiig ready for the fray^ 
irresistibly : though the kiyig is not necessarily more irresistible 
than any other warrior, cp. Pr. 6^^ " Thy poverty shall come 
. . . and thy want as a man with a shield." 

25-28. The conduct of the wicked, tyrannical (^*'^) man is 
described as the ground of his fate as just sketched : ^^ would 
follow ''^^ quite well, and Sgf. Be. Bu. omit '^^^'^^ — not quite 

25 f. He has been defiantly hostile to God. — Behaveth hint- 
self pro iidLy\ or mightily, playeth the, or acteth as a, warrior 
(iDJn"') : cp. Is. 42^^ " Yahweh will go forth as a mighty man 
. . . he will act mightily against his enemies": c. 36^ "He 
declareth to them their transgressions, that they behave them- 
selves proudly (or mightily)." 

26. With a {stiff) neck] or, emending, as a warrior (cp. Is. 
42^^ ; see last n.) to which " as a king," etc., would be the parallel 
term [{ -^^^ originally followed -^^ — Bosses] 13*^^ n. 


XV. 27-30.] ELIPHAZ 1 39 

27 Because he hath covered his face with his fatness, 

And made collops of fat on his loins ; 

28 And he hath dwelt in effaced cities, 

In houses which no man should inhabit, 
Which were destined to become heaps. 

29 He becometh not rich, neither doth his substance endure, 

Neither do his ears (of corn) bend to the earth. 
*" He departeth not out of darkness. 
His shoots the Hame drieth up. 

And his ^bud' is ^swept awayl by the wind. 

27. Grown rich and prosperous, he has become confirmed 
in his insensibility to God and all that is spiritual : for this 
figurative use of fatness, cp. Dt. 32^^, Jer. s^s, Ps. 73^ iig^o. 

28. Being indifferent to God p^), he builds up and inhabits 
sites which have been reduced to ruins by some judgment of 
God, and on which accordingly the curse of God rests, virtually 
carrying with it a decree of God that such places are not to be 
rebuilt (cp. Jos. 6^'^, i K. 16^^ Dt. 131^). Lines ^-^ give a 
complete distich which is not improved by being transformed 
into a tristich by the addition of ^ Du., rather precariously 
appealing to (5 (see phil. n.), takes 28° (reading )iiU' DnnN* inynn) 
with 29a : What he hath prepared others will take away, And 
his substance does not endure. 

29. The statements in ^ are, strictly speaking, inconsistent, 
for the second implies that the man does acquire substance, or 
wealth (^''n, 312^), though he does not retain it. Possibly the 
first negative is due to error, and the line originally ran : He 
becometh rich, but his wealth endureth not— a sentence of the 
same type as 8^^. On line ^, which is also questionable, see 
phil. n. 

30. Line * — an isolated stichos — looks like a variant of 22a. 
— b. C. The wicked man may be rich and prosperous (cp. 29* n.), 
resembling a flourishing plant (cp. 8"^^-) which gives promise of 
fruit, but his wealth as suddenly vanishes as a tree ruined 
by lightning or wind. — S/wo/s] 8^*^ 14^. Line ° in f^ reads, 
And he departeth not with (or, by means of) the breath of his 
mouth, which is obviously corrupt, see phil. n. 

140 THE BOOK OF JOB [XV. 31-33. 

^^ Let him trust not in emptiness, deceiving^ himself: 
For emptiness will be his return for what he doeth. 

^^ fHis palm-branch^ is l^cut offl before its time, 
And his palm-frond luxuriates no more. 

22 He wrong-eth, like the vine, his unripe grape, 
And casteth off, like the olive, his flower. 

31. This v., too, in f^ is questionable, but satisfactory 
emendation is not forthcoming. The meaning, if ^ is correct, 
appears to be: "his vanity [i.e. emptiness), in the sense of 
frivolity or worldliness, brings as its reward ' vanity ' in the 
sense of what is worthless or disappointing " (Dr.). Between ^^ 
and ^■^'- (all figures from plant life), ^^ may well be out of place 
(Be. Bu. Du. Peake), unless this v. also in its original form 
referred to plant life : Richter's attempt, however, to recover 
such an original is unhappy. — Emptiness] 7^ n. — His retutm for 
tohat he doeth\ lit. his exchange : cp. 20^^ 28^'^. 

32a. Or (see phil. n.) emending otherwise, it (viz. the shoots 
of ^^^) is cut off before its time, f^, which though improbable 
has found defenders, reads. Before his time it — which is taken 
to refer to "his return" in ^^ (Di.), or to mean "his fate" 
(Bu,, if ^ were correct) — is fulfilled. — Before his time] lit. on 
not his day, i.e. on a day not, but earlier than, that on which he 
would normally have died — not at the end of his days, but in 
the midst of his days : cp. Ps. 55^'*^^^^ 

33. The wicked man, since he never really enjoys any pros- 
perity he may appear to possess or sees promise of success 
fulfilled, is like a vine that produces grapes indeed, but grapes 
that never ripen ; or like the olive that produces a profusion of 
flowers, most of which, however, do not set into fruit even in 
the alternate year in which the olive bears: "every second 
year, though it bloom, it scarcely produces any berries at all " : 
see Wetzst. in Del., and Thomson, The Land and the Book, 54 f. 
— He wrongeth] by failing to mature ; cp. of the sinner. " He 
that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul," Pr. S^. The 
paraphrase of the Heb. in K EV. ("shaketh off") is false to 
nature: the vine does not cast its unripe berries, but "the 
unriper the berries, the faster they stick" (Del.). 


^* For the company of the g-odless is sterile ; 

And fire devoureth the tents of bribery. 
^ They conceive mischief, and bring forth misfortune ; 

And their belly prepareth disappointment (for them- 

34. The whole class of the wicked is like sterile ground 
producing no crops : the whole class furnishes no example of a 
really, permanently successful man. — Compa?iy] cp. similarly 
Ps. 22^"^^*^^ and 86'^ ; it does not here mean /afttily (Del.), even 
though that meaning could be established for 16'^. — God/ess] 
j^io 813 j^_ — Sfenle] 3^ n. — Fire] one of the causes of Job's 
calamities (i^*^) to which fact there is perhaps an oblique allusion 
here: cp. 20^^ (Sophar), 22^*' (Eliphaz). — The tents of bribery] 
the homes of those who have grown rich by accepting bribes 
(cp. Is. i^^), or have used their riches to bribe judges and 
pervert justice in their own interest : bribery is obviously 
selected as typical of gross sins. 

35. Cp. Is. sg'* 33^^ Ps. 715(14)^ — Mischief . . . misfortune] 
4^ n. 3^° n. — Belly] i.e. womb, as 3^^. Others (Del.) take belly 
here of the entire inward nature of man, including thought, 
feeling, and will (cp. Pr. 18^ 20^'^-'^^ 22^^), which would suit the 
vb. [prepareth), but would involve the abandonment of the 
figure in ^. 

XVI. XVII. Job's reply to Eliphaz's second speech. — 
Like his previous replies, this speech also is only in part (most 
clearly in 16^"^ and, perhaps, 17^*^) directly addressed to the 
friends. In 17^'- (in (5 also in ^) God is addressed, and in 16^^ 
earth is apostrophized. But more of this than of the previous 
replies is in the strain of musing or monologue; so i6^~i7- 20-22 
j^if. 5-9. 11-17 not obviously addressed either to the friends 
or to God, and 16^'^ is obviously not addressed to either. 
Opening with a brief and contemptuous dismissal of the com- 
fort offered by the friends (16^"^), Job passes on to describe 
God's violent treatment of him (^~^^), in spite of his innocence 
i}"'^-). And yet God is his witness and vindicator (^^-17^) ; and 
accordingly, with death imminent, to Him and not to the 
friends he appeals (16'^^ 17^). But from this bold appeal to 

142 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVI. 1-4. 

XVI. ^ Then Job answered and said, 

'^ I have heard many such thintjs : 

Troublesome comforters are ye all. 
^ Shall windy words have an end? 

Or what provoketh (?) thee that thou answerest? 
* I also could speak as ye do, 

If your soul were in my soul's stead ; 
I could join words together against you, 
And shake mine head at you : 

God against God, he returns to describe further God's harsh 
treatment of him, and his hopeless outlook (17""^"). 

2-5. Job contemptuously rejects the commonplaces {^^) which 
Eliphaz (^^), merely repeating what he and the others {^^) had 
said in their previous speeches, has just uttered. Instead of being 
silent, as Job had begged them to be (13^), what makes Eliphaz 
speak at all, if this is all he has to offer (^) ? He and his friends 
may have come to comfort him, but so far from doing so (cp. 21^*) 
in reality (cp. 13*), they add to his trouble by forcing upon him 
conventional words of comfort, not springing from their hearts. 
How easily and how abundantly could Job, if their parts were 
reversed, let loose on them like words, and give them support 
of the same kind ! 

2. I have heard such things] already from you and your two 
companions ; and what they say has already been stigmatized 
as commonplace (12^). — Troublesome comforters] not conveying, 
as Eliphaz had claimed, the comforts of God (15^^), but com- 
forters (cp. 2^^) of, i.e. who cause to me, trouble (^oj?, 3^° n.). — 
Are ye all] Eliphaz, whom very exceptionally (cp. 12^ 26^ n.) in 
^^ he addresses by himself, is no better than the other two. 

3a. A retort to 15"^. — Provoketh] see phil. n. 

4. If the circumstances of Job and the friends were reversed. 
Job could (not "would"), only too easily and as vainly, have 
spoken like the friends ; what Job actually had done, and 
would have done again for sufferers like himself, was very 
different ; for his words had really comforted, restored, and 
strengthened (4^'- Eliphaz, 29^"^*^ Job). b. Or, // only your 
soul were in my souVs stead/ (see phil. n.) : would that ye could 

XVI. 4-7J JOB 143 

^ I could streng'then you with my mouth, 

And 'not' restrain the solace of my lips. 
® If I speak, my pain is not restrained : 

And if I forbear, how much (of it) departeth from me ? 

look at and judge your comfort from the position of the 
sufferer. — Join words together] or, make fine speeches (see 
phil. n.), thinking- more of my own skill than your need. — 
Shake mine head at] the gesture is mentioned in cases in which 
mocking or satirical words are added or implied : Ps. 22^ (cp. 
the II rj?^n, and the words of ^), Is. 37"^ (|| yu':in, hd), EccIus. 12^*^, 
Mt. 2739 (cp. ■'O). 

5. The irony of * is continued ; mere lip comfort is 
easily given, b. iiH, And the solace of my lips should restrain 
[sc. your pain : cp. ^) ; then ^, and in that case '^ too, would 
be more naturally taken seriously, not ironically ; but, if ^ 
expressed what Job would actually do, in contrast to * what 
he could, but would not, do, a strong adversative would be 
required at the beginning of ^ : RV. accordingly supplies But; 
this is, however, virtually an emendation, and a bad one, for 
if Job had been turning from irony to a statement of what he 
would actually do, he would not lay stress on mouth and lips 
(cp. ii^n.). — Not restrain] or, emending otherwise, ^'^ encourage 
you with" ; the translation above follows ffir (see phil. n.). 

6. Alike whether Job speaks or keeps silence, his pain is in 
no way alleviated. The connection is not obvious, and " speak " 
is rather ambiguous; it is commonly taken (Di.) to mean : If 
I speak to my friends, I get no comfort from them ; I may as 
well, therefore, keep silence ; but that course, too, does not 
ease me. But a comparison with 7^^ 10^ suggests that it may 
mean : If I say to and of God what I think about His treat- 
ment of me, it is true He remains deaf to my appeals, and I 
get no alleviation, neither do I, however, when I keep silence; 
therefore, I will repeat my case against Him. 

7-I6. In the tone of a soliloquy, Job describes the condition 
to which God in His hostility has reduced him. 

7. He] The subject is God, unnamed (cp. 32*^ n.) till ^^ : no<^ 
Hliphaz (for ' and ^ are closely connected, and ^^, in any case. 

144 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVI. 7-9. 

^ Only now he hath weaned me out, (and) appalled "^me^. 

"^And^ all my "^ calamity' hath seized hold upon me. 
^ It hath been a witness and risen up ag'ainst me ; 

My leanness testifieth to my face ! 

refers to a visitation of God), nor "my pain " (U). — [And) 
appalled me and all my calamity hath seized hold upon me] see 
phil. notes. P^ Thoti hast appalled, or laid waste (EV. "made 
desolate ") all my company (so JH), or {%) all my testimony^ 
i.e. all that testifies to me, my good fortune (?), or (Ehrlich), 
all that I testify, i.e. my arguments, ^ and thoii hast seized hold 
upon me. The address in ^^- ^, if pf were correct, must be to 
God, but the transition from the 3rd pers. in '^^ to the 2nd in 
7b. 8a 2^nd back to the 3rd in ^ would be very awkward. " Thou 
hast laid waste all my company " in ^ is supposed to mean 
that God has changed the entire circle of the adherents, house- 
mates, and friends of Job into his enemies (Di. Da.), and so 
left Job deserted and alone ; but to speak of alienating a man's 
friends as a "laying waste," not of himself but of them, is 
very strange : nor perhaps would the estrangement of Job's 
friends (19^^"^^) be quite naturally referred to here. For the 
use of "company" in P^, cp. 15^*. 

8. All this misfortune testifies, on the current theory of 
prosperity and adversity, to Job's guilt; cp. 10^'^. — My leajmess\ 
cp. Ps. log-* : see phil. n. 

9-14. In vv.^'^- ^- ^-"^* we \\Si\e. figurative descriptions of the 
treatment measured out to Job by God (the unnamed subj., as 
already in 7a(7b)^ Qf yj^g^ \^ ^j^g si?ig.); in ^° description of the 
treatment of Job by human adversaries — the unnamed subjects 
of vbs. in the plural : ^^ states that God delivers Job up into 
the power of such human adversaries. Thus the present order 
of the vv. is anything but natural. Wr. places ^^ before ^'^^ 
Peake before ^ (reading the noun, vbs., and 3rd pers. in the 
pi.), and this would relieve the more serious difficulty. Sgf. 
deletes i^^-, Du. ^°"^^ allowing the figures of '^^^ ^ to be continued 
uninterrupted by ^2. The omission of ^^^ only (ffir) does not 
ease the difficulty ; and the insertion before ^ in ffi of the line 
(cp. 6*), " The arrows of his troops have fallen upon me," only 

XVI. 9-12.] JOB 145 

^ His wrath hath torn me, and with hatred pursued me; 

He hath gnashed upon me with his teeth : 
Mine adversary sharpeneth his eyes upon me ; 
^** They have g^aped upon me with their mouth ; 
They have smitten my cheeks reproachfully ; 
One and all they mass themselves against me. 
'^ God delivereth me to the unrighteous, 

And casteth me headlong into the hands of the wicked. 

^2 I was at ease, and he hath cleft me asunder ; 

He hath taken hold of my neck, and dashed me to pieces. 

partially : it would account for plurals in ^°''- '^ (ft?, but not ffi), 
but hardly for the vbs. used : for the treatment described in 
these lines is scarcely that of those who composed God's (super- 
human) troops, but far rather of such terrors as those mentioned 

in 11. 

pa, b. Yahweh, or specifically His anger, is figured as a 
wild beast tearing (e)")D as Gn. 37^^, Ex. 22^^, and frequently in 
figures, e.^., Dt. 33^'' and, as here, of God, Hos. 5^*) its prey. 
The figure is continued in ^^: see last n. — WM hatred pursued 
me] or, transposing two letters, dropped me.^ i.e. from his 
mouth to the ground, which maintains the figure. — C. Mi7ie 
adversary] No doubt Job might so have termed God, though 
ns is not exactly the term suggested by the passages (9^ lo^- ^'^ 
j^wff.^ to which Bu. appeals ; but it would be curious that the 
expressed subject should appear first in the third line of the 
tristich (9*- ^- '^ being on this view a tristich). But ^° is preferably 
taken as forming with ^^^ a distich ; and the adversary, or rather 
the adversaries {pi.) are human : in this case read with ^ : 
Mine adversaries sharpen their eyes. 

10. Cp. 30^- ^'- ^^^•. — Gaped . . . "with their 7noutK\ in de- 
rision ; cp. Ps. 22^* ^^^\ Is. 57*. — Sjnittenmy cheek]cp. Mic. 4^*, 
La. f\ Mt. 539. 

11. The wicked] JJl children', see phil. n. 

12a, b. If 9°"^^ be an interpolation, this v. continues the 
figure of the wild beast in ^^- ^, completing a quatrain devoted 
to it. — Cleft vie asunder] or mangled, or clawed, me (see the 
phil. n.). 

I2C, 13. A fresh figure to which also a quatrain is devoted : 

146 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVI. 12-15. 

He hath also set me up for his mark ; 
^^ His archers compass me round about ; 

He cleaveth through my reins, and doth not spare; 
He poureth out my gall upon the ground. 
^* He breaketh me with breach upon breach ; 

He runneth upon me like a warrior. 
^^ Sackcloth have I sewed upon my skin, 
And I have laid my horn in the dust. 

God is an archer (so, e.g.^ Ps. 64^ ^^)), Job the butt (cp. La. 3^2) 
for His arrows. — Archers\ unless the word may be rendered 
arrows (see phil. n.), God is now in ^^* represented as a com- 
mander (so also implicitly ig^^) of archers (rather than, as in ^2°, 
actually Himself shooting), by means of whose shooting, rather 
than by arrows shot by His own hand, He pierces Job's vital 
parts. — He cleaveth through my reins] cp. "until an arrow 
cleave through his liver," i.e. till he is mortally wounded, 
Pr. 7^^ ; "He (God) hath caused the shafts of his quiver to 
enter into my reins," La. 3^^. — He poureth out my gall] cp. 
" My liver is poured out on the ground," La. 2^^. Cp. also 
the reference to the gall-bladder in c. 20^^. 

14. Another fresh figure — this time developed in a single 
distich : God is a warrior engaged in breaching a fortified city, 
Job the city in whose walls breach after breach is made. — 
Breaketh] or makes a breach in ; so with ace. of the fence or 
wall. Is. 5^ Ps. 80I3 89*1 (note the ||), Neh. 3^5 ; for the noun 
of a breach in a wall, see 30^"^, Am. 4^, i K. 1 1^^. — He natneth 
upon me] cp. i^^^; also (if we there read "nj for m:) Ps. 18^^ (-''^: 
" For by thee I run up to a fence, and by my God I leap over 
a wall." — Warrior] Ti3J, not giafit (EV.) : cp. i S. 2*, 2 S. 23^, 
Pr. 16^^, Is. 13^ 21^'^ etc., and, as here, figuratively of God, 
Is. 42^^ (II "man of war"). 

15 f. Resuming ^, Job describes his miserable condition 
resulting from God's hostility, '^'^*. He has ^^* sewn together 
a garment oi sak, and now wears it next his skin (cp. i K. 21^7, 
2 K. 6^*^), or, perhaps, the precise implication of the line is 
rather, the sackcloth never leaves me (Ehrlich). Job's wearing 
of sackcloth, a frequently mentioned sign of grief or mourning 

XVI. 15-18.] JOB 147 

1' My face is red with weeping', 

And on my eyelids is thick darlcness ; 

^"^ Althoug'h there is no violence in my hands, 
And my prayer is pure. 

^^ O earth, cover not thou my blood. 

And let my cry have no (resting) place. 

(cp. Is. 22^2^^ js not referred to in the Prologue, but it is the 
normal sequel to the rending or removal of the garments (i^o) 
worn by the persons in question (cp. Gn. 37^*, i K. 21^7, 
2 K. 19I, Jon. 3^). — Laid my horn in the dust\ a fig. of complete 
humiliation; so, "to exalt the horn" is to lift into a position 
of pride and dignity. The fig. is often supposed to be derived 
from the bull, whose strength and pride lie in its horns : for 
another explanation, see phil. n. 

l6b. Darkness is already settling on Job's eyebrows and 
will soon close them in death ; or, as others think, * refers to 
the watering of the eyes which is a symptom of elephantiasis, 
and ^ to the loss of sight consequent on the weeping. 

17. There has been no moral justification for God's reducing 
Job to such misery. Cp. 10'^. The v. is scarcely, as it is often 
said to be, a contradiction of Eliphaz's charge in 15*^- : Eliphaz 
there charges Job with sins of speech about God in the course 
of the discussion ; what Job here denies is violence of deed in 
^^^, and in ^, if the text be correct, insincere speech to God. 
But ^^'' is a curious parallel to * ; like °- it may perhaps originally 
have repudiated insincere or deceptive speech towards men 
(cp. Is. 53^), or (with ^n^TlJ, my way (Du. ?), or \-i3f'nnn, my 
walking, course of life (Be.) for "my prayer") have contained 
a reference to conduct in general. 

18-21. About to die an undeserved (^'^) death. Job passion- 
ately appeals for the vindication of his innocence after death (^^), 
and, though it is God who will inflict the undeserved death, 
it is God to whom he looks to vindicate him (}^) both against 
Himself (21a), who by the sufferings which He has inflicted 
has seemed to represent Job as wicked, and against his fellow- 
men (21^), who have definitely charged him with wickedness. 

18. When he is dead, let his assertion of innocence and his 

1 48 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVI. 18-20. 

'* Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, 
And he that voucheth for me is on high. 

-° My friends are my scorners : 

Unto God mine eye droppeth (tears) ; 

call for veng-eance on his murderer go on ringing up to heaven; 
let his blood lie uncovered that its voice may not be gagged 
with the dust of the grave, and let the cry of his blood find no 
tarrying place as it travels up to heaven. By a special develop- 
ment of the widespread belief in the dangers generated by 
shed blood (cp. Blood, § 2, in ERE), Hebrew folklore taught 
that such blood, so long as it lay on the ground uncovered and 
unabsorbed, or if, having been covered over, it was again laid 
bare, cried out to God for vengeance: cp. Gn. 4^*^, Is. 26-^ and, 
especially, Ezk. 24^"^ with its emphasis on the unabsorbent rock 
in contrast with the ground in general (ps), which would have 
been more absorbent : Woe to the bloody city . . . for the 
blood she has shed is in her midst, on the bare rock she has 
(or, with ffir, I have) set it : she poured it not out upon the earth, 
so as to cover it over with dust ; (but) in order to arouse fury, 
that vengeance might be taken, I have put the blood she has 
shed upon the bare rock, so that it might not be covered. Thus 
the double aspect (cp. 7^^ n.) under which Job apprehends God 
at this stage is clear and striking : God is his murderer ; but 
Job's blood, shed by Him, will cry not in vain to heaven ; for 
there it will find a vindicator, and that vindicator will be — 
God. Ehrlich's explanation, on the basis of Talmudic usage, 
is singularly improbable : according to him the meaning is : O 
earth, let my blood — by which is meant the injustice done him 
by his opponents representing him as a sinner — cry to heaven, 
so that I have no need to cry out myself. 

19. On high\ or, in the heights — a synonym for heaven, as 

20. Job's friends scorn him for his sufferings ; he turns his 
tear-stained face to God with the plea which follows in 21 ; so 
or similarly the v. is understood on the supposition that |£| is 
correct, and that ^ is to be translated as above. If ^ is correct, 
the above translation, which follows j^, is the least improbable; 

XVI. 20-22.] JOB 1 49 

2^ That he would decide for a man (in his contest) with God, 
And between a son of man and his neig-hbour. 

-- For a few years will come, 

And (then) 1 shall go the way by which I shall not return. 

but it could also be, and has by some been, translated in various 
other ways: My friend, or (Hoffm.) my shepherd (i.e. God), is 
my scorner (or, translating p^D as in 33^^, my interpreter) ; or, 
they that mock me are friends of God (Wr.); or, my thoug-hts 
(or, aims ; see Ps. 139^" ^^ t) are my interpreters (Ehrlich). ffi 
presupposes a better parallelism and a better rhythm: it renders, 
May my prayer come unto God, 

Before him mine eye droppeth (tears). 

21. Dependent on the sense of petition expressed in ^o — 
indirectly in ^, and perhaps originally directly in * : My prayer 
is that my witness in heaven (^^) would secure my right (hdvI : 
cp. 9^^, Is. II*), be the arbitrator whom I have longed for (9^), 
in my contest with God. — Afan, son of mati\ are simply parallel 
terms: cp. Ps. S''^''^; the general term in each case refers spe- 
cifically to Job; for the "and" can scarcely, with Ehrlich, be 
taken as the "and " of comparison (cp. phil. n.), so that the v. 
would mean : that God may secure right for Job in his dispute 
with God, as (He is wont to decide justly) between a man and 
his neighbour (cp. i S. 2^°). — His neighbour^ or, friend : in this 
latter sense the term in the pi. is applied to Job's three friends 
(2^^ 19^^): the sing, here does not refer to Eliphaz (Peake) in 
particular, but obliquely (as " man " to Job) to all three friends, 
the sing, being chosen as common in such phrases (cp. e.g. 
Jer. 7^). Another mistaken view of the sing, is that it is a 
synonym for God (Du.); but there is no reason for the choice 
of such a strange term for God (note the antithesis between God 
and a man's neighbour in Ex. 33^^ and in ^^ if the text there be 
correct), for if ^ had been an exact repetition of the thought of 
* the writer could, according to his usual pi-actice, have used 
in ^ an alternative name for God (^x or "''W). 

22-XVII. 2. Job gives as the ground for the wish just 
expressed his conviction of the near approach of death. 

22. This v. appears to say : only a few more years of life 

150 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVI. 22-XVII. 2. 

XVII. ^ My spirit is broken, 

My days are extinct, 
The grave is (ready) for me. 
2 Surely there is mockery beside me, 

And mine eye abideth in their defiance. 

remain to me, whereas the next (17^) naturally suggests that 
Job regards his life as already virtually at an end; thus the 
two vv. do not go well together. Further, if both verses alike 
contain a reason either why God should intervene speedily, or 
why Job must make his plea without delay, it seems out of 
place to speak oi years of life, even though but a few years, yet 
to come. Either 22 is out of place (Sgf.), or we must emend 
in such a way that ^^ like 17^ implies that death is imminent 
(see phil. n.), — A few years\\\\.. " years of number," the idiom 
being the same as in "a few men," Gn. 34^°, Dt. 4^^ etc. 

22b. Cp. io2i*. 

XVII. I. See phil. n. — My spirit is broken] i.e. my life ((JT 
my soul) is destroyed ; death is more commonly described as 
the departure (Ec. 12'^, Ps. 104^^ i46*)> and in Is. 57^^ as an 
enfeeblement, of the spirit. AV. "My breath is corrupt," but 
the vb. does not mean *' is fetid," and, even if it did, a reference 
here to Job's fetid breath (19^^) would not agree either with the 
parallel lines or the context. 

2. The V. is very strangely phrased, and is probably corrupt. 
Apparently Job returns to the charge against the friends in 
16^^ 1^ (but see n. there), alluding, as Dr. puts it, "to his 
friends' illusory promises of restoration {e.£: 5^^"^^), and exasper- 
ating insinuations of his guilt" {e.£: 8^"^ ij4-6. 20. ^.p^ 12*^-). 
So Di., who also mentions and criticizes numerous other un- 
tenable suggestions. Du., reading bitternesses in ^ instead of 
their defiance, understands inockery in * of the constant dis- 
appointment of Job's hopes (cp. ^^^), and "bitternesses" in ^ of 
the bitter conditions imposed on him by God, — Surely there is 
. . . and\ the rendering, in itself legitimate, if there is not . . . 
then yields no appropriate sense: for xi? DX, surely, cp. 31^'', 
Lex. 50^. — Beside fne] the mockery of my friends, or of fortune, 
surrounds (oy, as 29*"- ^^ 25'^), or is in conflict with (oy, as 

XVII. 2-5.] JOB 1 5 1 

2 Lay down, I pray thee, the pledge for me with thyself; 

Who (else) is there that will strike his hand in to mine? 
* For their heart hast thou hid from understanding : 

Therefore thou wilt not exalt them. 
^ He that denounceth (his) friends for a prey, 

Even the eyes of his children shall fail. 

lo^^ n.) me. — Abideth in\ or, emending, faileth by reason of 
(see phil. n.). 

3. Addressing himself now to God, Job, even more clearly 
than in 16^*'"^^, sets over against one another his two thoughts 
of God — God hostile and God friendly, God unjustly making 
him suffer and so taking away his character, and God able and 
ultimately willing to re-establish his character; or, in the 
terms of the present figure, God as the giver of the pledge or 
bail which releases Job, and God as the receiver of the bail 
who, till He receives it, holds Job a prisoner (cp. 13^^). He 
does not expect immediate vindication, else no need of bail, 
nor even in this life (cp. iq^^"^''). 

3b. There is no one else who can give this pledge to clear 
him from God's aspersions, alike before God and man (16"^), 
but God Himself. — Strike his hand\ i.e. make the gesture that 
accompanies the giving of a pledge: cp. Pr. 6^ 17^^. 

4. The friends, who might naturally have gone surety for 
Job's innocence, will not do so, because God has deprived 
them of the power of seeing the true state of the case, and 
consequently they believe Job guilty. But since this conclusion 
of theirs is due to blindness, God who is not blind, but sees 
aright, cannot exalt them to the position of victors in their 
dispute with Job by allowing Job's innocence to remain per- 
manently unvindicated. Such is commonly taken to be the 
connection, Du. thinks the v., which ffir omits, due to an 
interpolator mindful of 42'^*-, but unmindful of the immediate 

5. It is probable that the text of ^ is hopelessly corrupt (so 
Sgf ), and that this accounts for the fact that all attempts to 
explain the v. either suiTer from artificiality, or place on the 
words of the text a questionable meaning. Denounceth., or 


informeth against., is the only meaning that can safely be 
placed on Tjn, construed with an ace. of the pers. (see phil. n.); 
there is no justification in usage for rendering inviteth, and 
speakeih to (AV.) is not to be supported by reference to 26* 
(see n. there), 31^'' (ace. of the suffix), 2 S. 15^^ (see Dr. ad loc), 
and scarcely even by 2 K. 7^- ^\ Ezk. 43^°. Prey (RV.) is a 
unique rendering of P^n, which is commonly rendered portion, 
or share, and may refer to, inter alia, a portion of spoil or 
booty (Gn. 142*, i S. 302*), or of food (Hab. i^^)^ ^^ of land 
(Jos. 19^ and often) ; so the vb. p^n usually means to divide, 
apportion (spoil, food, land, etc.) ; but in 2 Ch. 28-^ it has 
virtually developed the meaning to plunder, an exceptional 
meaning of the vb. which supplies some ground for the sense 
"prey" given to the noun here (Ew. reaches much the same 
meaning in another way). Flattery (AV.) is, in itself, also a 
legitimate rendering of ppn (cp. Pr. 7^1). Literally rendered, 
according to the usual meaning of the words, the v. thus 
reads : For a portion one denounceth friends, and the eyes of his 
children fail; "his" in ^ refers to "one" in ^; "his" in * 
(RV.) is not expressed in Hebrew. The following may be 
given as the principal efforts to impose a meaning on these 
words and to connect them with their context, i. Dr., retain- 
ing RV. without alteration, comments: "Job compares his 
friends (implicitly) to a man who heartlessly distrains (as we 
should say) the goods of a neighbour for debt, and whose 
children suffer for their father's cruelty." On this theory the 
V. is at once a charge and a threat : the friends of Job are 
cruel ; the children of the cruel suffer ; therefore their children 
will suffer — a curious threat for Job to make, for see 21^^^-. 
Hgst. makes the whole v. a threat, rendering, A prey [becometh) 
he who denounceth friends. And the eyes of his children fail. 
2. Ew. al. (cp. Di.) take the whole v. as descriptive, thus 
avoiding the threat ; ^ is then treated as circumstantial ; and 
the sing. pron. in ^ is taken to refer not to the denouncer, but 
to the friends (plural) denounced ; for such enallage numeriT)\. 
refers to 18^ 24^- ^^f- 27^^; and Ew. accounts for it here by the 
fact that while using the pi. with a general reference in *, Job 
is all the time thinking of himself: he renders, for allotting, i.e. 

xvn. 5-7.J JOB 153 

* He hath made me a byword of the peoples ; 

And as one at whom men spit must I be. 
^ Mine eye also is dim by reason of vexation, 

And all my members are as a shadow. 

that the lot may be cast for them as for prisoners, one denounces 
friends, -while the eyes of his {i.e. the friends') children fail. In 
this case as ■* describes the folly, so ^ the ruthlessness of the 
friends of Job, both vv. giving motives for the request in ^ 
(Di.). 3. Bu. (cp. Peake) treats the v. as a proverb (hence the 
3rd pers. sing.), one invites f-riends to share {one's table), while his 
own children's eyes fail (from starvation), applied to the friends 
who, actually bereft of wisdom (■*), yet think they can impart a 
rich share of their wisdom to Job. This explanation is less 
forced than the preceding, but it really requires Nip"' instead of 
n^j\ 4. Du. also treats the v. as a proverb, and, regarding it 
as a marginal note not needing to be closely related to the 
context, renders : He who denounces friends on account of a 
pledge, his children! s eyes fail. 

6ff. Resumed description of God's hard treatment of Job. 

6. He^ i.e. God: perhaps. And thou hast 7nade should be 
read (see phil. n.). — A byword of the peoples'] Job comes to 
rank among neighbouring peoples, to whom the story of his 
sufferings spreads, as a great sinner, so that they say "as 
great a sinner as Job " : cp. 30^, and for similar phrases, Dt. 
28-'^, I K. 9'^, Jer. 24^. — As one at whom men spit] i.e. an object 
of aversion (see phil. n.): ffi a portent before them, perhaps 
rightly : AV. aforetime (as) a tabi'ct, confusing nSD with Fin. 

7a. Cp. 16^^, Ps. 6^, — Vexation] at God's undeserved treat- 
ment of him : cp. &. — b. He has grown lean with suffering : 
cp. 16^. 

8-10. If these vv. are in their right place, Job is asserting, 
in contradiction, it is said, to Eliphaz's charge (15*) that Job 
deflects men from religion, that this (®), viz. the pitiable con- 
dition C') to which he is reduced, does indeed perplex other 
upright men ; but that they, nevertheless, cling to the path of 
righteousness (^^) : they do not follow the godless, though the 
prosperity of the godless angers them (^''), but, keeping them- 

1 54 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVII. 8-9. 

' Upright men are astonished at this, 

And the innocent is disturbed concerning' the godless. 
* Yet the righteous holdeth to his way, 

And he that hath clean hands increaseth strength. 
*" But return ye, all of '"j'ou"', and come now : 

And I shall not find a wise man among you. 

^^ My days are past, 

My purposes are broken off, 
(Even) the desires of my heart. 

selves pure, ultimately grow strong- and prosperous themselves 
(^^). Let the friends, then, come on again with fresh argu- 
ments : not one of them in so doing will prove himself wise to 
Job (^°). In ^^ the description of Job's miserable condition in ^ 
is resumed. Obviously, then, it is possible to pass from "^ to ^^ 
at once ; whereas the intervening vv. can only be fitted in with 
difficulty ; for who are these upright men to be astonished at 
Job's plight ? Job's whole complaint is rather that his sufferings 
mark him out to all men as one smitten by God for his wicked- 
ness : then again, ^^ with its purely general reference follows 
awkwardly after ^^ with its special reference to Job. It is no 
more satisfactory to generalize the " this " of ^ completely, and 
to particularize the reference in ^ to Job, explaining the vv. to 
mean upright men are perplexed by "these moral wrongs 
which they see prevail in God's rule of the world" (Du.); yet 
Job, who is one of them, is resolved to cling to righteousness. 
Du. and Peake are probably right, therefore, in regarding the 
vv. (Peake ^- ^ at least) as out of place, and probably a part of 
the speech of one of the friends ; Du. inserts ^"^^ after i8^; the 
meaning then being that upright men, like the friends, are 
astounded at Job's profanity (" this " (^^) is then strictly parallel 
to "the godless" (^'^)), but hold firm to their righteous way of 
life (^^) and grow strong therein C-^''). '^^^ Du. alters to the sing. 
taking it closely with 18^^; '^^'^ he regards as an addition after 
the vv. had become misplaced. 

8b. Me., transposing the terms, rendered: And the godless 
triumphs over the righteous ; but even this does not accommo- 
date the vv. satisfactorily to their present position. 

9. Yet\ Hebr. a?id. 

XVII. 11-13.] JOB 155 

12 They chang^e the nig-ht into day; 

"The Hg-ht " (say they) "is near unto the darkness." 

II in continuance of ^ describes Job's desperate condition. 
Cp. v.^ 7^9-5^-. Bu., My days pass away to my death, Broken are 
the cords of my understanding-: Du., My days pass away with- 
out hope, The desires of my heart are annihilated : see phil. n. 

12. The V. has been taken to mean : while my condition is 
really desperate (^^- ^^- ^^), my friends say : You are passing- 
through dark days now, but a brig-hter time is soon coming ; 
this would, indeed, be a correct account of the friends' " com- 
fort " in the first series of speeches (see 5^'^^^ 320-22 jjis-io^^ ai,(] 
Sophar actually used the fig, of light and darkness: "Thy life 
will rise up more (brightly) than the noonday, though it be 
dark, it will become as the morning" (11^^). But Eliphaz in 
his second speech, to which Job is now replying, says nothing 
of the kind. That the friends are the subject of the vb. in % 
and authors of the statement in ^, is not at all clearly indicated: 
if ^° is in place, we should expect at least "Ye change" : and 
if '~^'' are out of place (see above), the reference to the friends 
is still less natural. The v. would be more in place if it ex- 
pressed Job's conviction that the light of his life is fading into 
the darkness of death ; but no very satisfactory emendation 
has been proposed (see phil. n.). 

13-16. Job, being already as good as dead, has no further 
ground for hope ; for the hope of restoration to former happi- 
ness and prosperity does not descend to Sheol, of which Job 
already feels himself an inhabitant: "all hope abandon ye who 
enter here." The general sense remains the same whichever 
view of the construction of the v. be taken — that represented 
in the translation above (so RV. Di. Da. Bu. al.), or the older 
(ffilT, AV.) and in many respects the more striking view 
adopted by Del. Du. (cp. Peake) according to which ^'^^- should 
be rendered : If I hope, Sheol is mine house ; I have spread 
my couch in darkness ; I have said to the pit. Thou art my 
father. To the worm, My mother and my sister. This does 
more justice to the identity of the root of the vb. in ^^ (nipN) 
and the noun in ^^ ("Tllpn). In the former case the thought 

156 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVII. 13-16. 

^^ If I look for Sheol as mine house ; 

If I have spread my couch in darkness ; 
1* If I have said to the pit, Thou art my father; 

To the worm, My mother, and my sister ! 
^^ Where then is my hope? 

And as for my "^prosperity^, who can see it ? 
^^ Will they go down "^with me^ into Sheol ? 

Or "^shall we descend^ together into the dust ? 

more precisely is : If Sheol is all I have to look for (^^'•), 
what real hope have I left (^^)? In the latter: If I still hope, 
death, not life, faces me (^'^^•\ and the certainty of death ex- 
tinguishes (^^^•) hope. If ^2 refers to the comfort given by the 
friends, ^^ doubtless replies to it : if all I have really to hope 
for is Sheol, what becomes of the false hopes with which you 
would buoy me up? 

13b. Cp. Ps. 139^. — In darkness] the darkness of Sheol : cp. 


14. For the form of expression, cp. Pr. 7*: also c. 30^^ — 
The pit] EV. here and, following ffi, sometimes elsewhere, 
incorrectly connecting the noun nnt^ (from rw, to sink down, as 
nn3 from niJ, etc.) with y^nntJ', render corruption. The word, 
used of a hollow dug in the earth for catching prey (Ps. 7^^ 9^^ 
94^^, Pr. 26^'^, Ezk. 19*), or a natural hollow (9^^), is applied to 
the underworld (3318.^ jg^ 3317 (gjU)^ Ezk. 288, Jon. 2^, 
Ps. 1610 3010(9) 4gio(9) 5524(23) 103* t), conceived as a hollow 
within the earth ; or, if as some suppose [Lex.), the term 
originally denoted a pit in Sheol, " the depths of Sheol" (Pr. 
9^8), the part is here, as usually in OT. , used for the whole. — 
Thoii art] the words should probably be omitted : see phil. n. 

15. Both lines, by rhetorical questions, imply that hope 
does not exist for Job : with the form of*, cp. 15^^ 21^^, of ^ 7^. 
— Prosperity] so (!£ : P? hope, repeating *. 

16. Cp. Ps. 4918(17). The translation follows ffi: RV. is 
not a legitimate rendering of ^, which should mean rather, if 
it meant anything, To the bars (?) of Sheol they (fern.) shall go 
down, if together on the dust (there is) rest (or, into the dust we 
descend) : see phil. n. — The dust] of the grave : cp. 'j^^ 19-^ 20^^. 

XVIII. 2-3.] BILDAD 157 

XVIII. ^ Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, 
2 How long- wWt thou^ lay snares for words ? 

Understand, and afterwards we will speak. 
' Wherefore are we accounted as beasts, 
(And) are ''obtuse'' in ''thy'' sight? 

XVIII. Bildad's second speech. — After impatiently asking 
whether Job will never stop (-), why he looks upon his friends 
as blockheads {^), and whether he expects the order of the 
world to be upset on his account (*), Bildad confines himself in 
the remainder of his speech to paintings a dark picture of the 
fate of the wicked, harassed and tormented while he lives (^~^^), 
and (leaving- no posterity) doomed to oblivion when he dies 


2. According to ^, Bildad here and in ^, thoug-h no longer 
in *, addresses himself not, as elsewhere, and here too according- 
to ffi, to Job alone in the sing., but to Job and others associ- 
ated with him — How long will ye, etc., "Wherefore are we 
obtuse in your eyes? But it is improbable that the 2nd plurals 
are original (see phil. n.), and ^ perhaps originally read, 
"When at last wilt thou cease talking; Leave off (now), that 
we may begin to speak." — Ho7V long] as at the beginning of 
Bildad's first speech (8-). — Lay snares for words] hunt and en- 
trap words, setting before us far-fetched arguments which turn 
out to be irrelevant and after all nothing but words. In 8^ 
Bildad's figure suggests the very opposite of this : there Job's 
words pour forth like a great wind. AV. "how long (will it 
be ere) you make an end of words " is a questionable rendering 
of ^, but may coincide with the meaning of the original text 
(see phil. n.). — Understand] not the friends as Job had asserted 
(17*), but Job himself has been lacking in intelligence; let him 
now exchange his logic chopping for an intelligent treatment 
of the question, and the debate may continue; cp. U, In- 
telligite prius, et sic loquamar. We in this case includes Job, 
and it would be better to point the vb. as Nif. (cp. Mai. 313- 16)^ 
and render, we will speak to one another. But the reading of 
ffi (see above) is preferable. 

3. Cp. i7*^^°\ — Beasts] i.e. unintelligent: cp. Ps. -j^^"^. — 

158 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVIH. 3-5. 

Thou that tearest thyself in thy anger, 
Shall the earth on thy account be forsaken? 

Or a rock be removed out of its place ? 
^ Yea, the light of the wicked is put out, 

And the flame of his fire doth not shine. 
* The light is dark in his tent. 

And his lamp above him is put out. 

Obtuse] suits the parallel better than "unclean" (fH EV.). 
Moreover, Job has not charged the friends with being unclean 
— not even in 17^ by implication. After ^ Du. inserts 17^^- : see 
on those vv. 

4. Du. inserts 17^°^ (corrected), thus obtaining a distich : But 
turn (cp. 6'^^) and come now, Thou that tearest thyself in thy 
anger. It is not God, as Job has asserted (16"), who tears Job, 
but Job himself in his rage against God (cp. 5^). The two 
illustrations in *^° drawn from the physical order are commonly 
supposed to point figuratively to the moral order of the world, 
and to mean, therefore, '* Is the established order of the world 
(viz. that suffering is a consequence and proof of sin) to be 
interrupted, in order that ^/lou mayest continue to be reputed 
righteous?" (Dr.). — J^orsaken] of its inhabitants, and therefore 
depopulated (cp. Is. 6^-, Lv. 26^^), though it was God's inten- 
tion that it should be populated (Gn. i^^, Is. 45^^). — Or a rock, 
etc.] 14^^. 

5f. However Job may rage (*), the fact remains that the 
wicked do not prosper, and that those who do not prosper are 
wicked.— ^^ = Pr. 13^^ 242^'^; 5h. ca. b ^^^ variations of the same 
statement : thus in proverbial and perfectly general terms 
Bildad denies that the wicked can or do prosper, at the same 
time suggesting plainly enough the particular application : Job 
is not prosperous, Job is wicked. The light, or lamp (^^, cp. 
I K, 1 1^"), burning in the house, and the fire burning on the 
hearth, are symbols that the fortunes of the owner are still 
intact; when those fortunes are broken, the light goes out 
(21^^). — His lamp above hirn\ suspended from the roof of the 
tent; it is unlikely that '' introduces another figure than that 

XVIII. 5-11.] BILDAD 1 59 

' The steps of his strength are narrowed, 

And his own counsel casteth him down. 
8 For he is carried into a net by his own feet, 

And he walketh upon the toils. 
" A trap taketh hold of l^his^ heel, 

A snare layeth hold on him. 
^'^ The noose for him is hid in the ground, 

And the gin for him on the way. 
1^ Terrors affright him on every side, 

And chase him at every step. 

in * and refers to the lamp that lights up the way of one. 
walking (29^). 

7. A fresh figure for the failing fortunes of the wicked : he 
no longer, as in the days of his strength (Gn. 49^), walks 
confidently and freely, with plenty of room (Ps. 18'^'^ ^^^\ Pr. 4^'^) 
to walk in, but slowly under the constraint of a narrow path, 
and that full of obstacles which cause him to stumble ^). — 
Casteth him down] or, rather (see phil. n.), causeth him to 
stumble : cp. Pr. 4^-^. 

8-10. The piling up of the terms and figures for snares and 
traps indicates the strength of Bildad's conviction that there is 
no escape for the wicked from doom ; by one means or another, 
as he treads his narrow way C^), he must be brought down. 

8a. Or, rather perhaps (see phil. n.), For his foot is carried 
into the net : *' his own " above and RV. represents an emphasis 
which does not exist in 1i|. — The toils] another form of net (see 
phil. n.), or "lattice work" (cp. 2 K. i") laid over and con- 
cealing a pit, to capture wild beasts, which, walking on un- 
suspectingly, fall into the pit. 

9. A trap] that closes when trodden on, and catches : Is. 
8^* (n.), Jer. 48^^, Ps. 124'^, and often. — A snare] see phil. n. 

10. Noose] Pr. 5^^^ and in the phrase "nooses (RV. "cords") 
of death," Ps. 18*^ 2\.—Gin] see phil. n. 

11. Terrors] ninb, ^'* 24!^ 2720 301^ ; also Ps. 73!^, Ezk. 262^ 
27^^28^^: sing. Is. 17^* t. Wherever he goes the wicked man 
hears spectral noises (15^^ Eliphaz), and sees spectral forms, 
which make his life a constant terror to him. 

l6o THE BOOK OF JOB [XVIII. 12-14. 

^2 His streng'th Hs^ famished, 

And calamity is ready for his hailing. 
^^ "^ThroLig-h disease^ his skin is consumed, 

The firstborn of death consumeth his limbs. 
1* He is plucked out of his tent wherein he trusteth ; 

And he is marched to the king of terrors. 

12. Famished] undermined by hunger. The line agrees 
better with ^^, and the parallel line if rendered, Trouble hunger- 
ethforhiyn', but see phil. n. — Calamity] final ruin, 21^'^, Ob. ^^. 
— Is read}'] 15^^. — For his halting] cp. Ps. 35^^ 38^^, Jer. 20^''; 
if he halts, ruin sees to it that he never gets going again. 
Less vividly and less probably ^ may be rendered "at his 

13. Fatal disease attacks the wicked man. On the text, 
see phil. n. — The firstborn of death] like the Arabic bint el- 
vtaniyya, " daughter of fate," meaning fever, this phrase should 
mean fatal disease, possibly the worst and deadliest form of 
disease, though the parallel cited for this superlative sense of 
firstborn, "the firstborn of the poor," meaning the poorest of 
the poor (Is. 14^°), is textually doubtful; as in Is. 14^° so here 
a superlative is not altogether in place ; not all the wicked die 
of elephantiasis, to which, with a covert allusion to Job (so 
Dr.), Bildad is here supposed to refer, and yet Bildad is 
describing the fate of the wicked in general ; otherwise it is 
tempting to see in the line a reference to a specific symptom of 
elephantiasis, the falling off of pieces of the limbs. Unsuitable 
or less probable explanations are : the angel of death (2E), the 
worm of corruption (cp. 24-*' : Marshall), the terrors of death 
(Ley) ; or, one doomed to death (consumes his own limbs (cp. 
Is. 9^*^) in his ravenous hunger, Ew.). 

14. The wicked man is torn away from his home in death. — 
a. F avellatur de tabernaculo suo fiducia eius, whence AV. (cp. 
ffir), a possible, but in the context a less probable translation 
of p,|. — The king of terrors] Death personified as a king with 
spectral terrors as his subjects and ministers ; a different 
personification occurs in Ps. 49^^ where Death is the shepherd 
of the wicked gathered like a flock to Sheol : cp. also Is. 28^^^ 

XVIII. 14-17.] BILDAD 1 6 1 

1^ In his tent there dwelleth that which is nauj^ht of his , 
Brimstone is scattered upon his habitation. 

^* His roots are dried up beneath, 
And above his branch is cut off. 

1^ His remembrance perisheth from the earth, 

And he hath no name on the face of the open plain. 

(Death (|| Sheol) a party to a treaty). Curiously the ancient 
versions, with the exception of C, do not recognize in the 
phrase "the king of terrors " (see phil. n.). 

15. After his death, the wicked man's house lies uninhabited 
and accursed. — That which is 7iaiight of his\ weeds (Hos. 9^, 
Zeph. 2^) and wild animals (Is. 13-^^- 34^^), such as are found 
in desolate places, are probably intended, if the text is correct. 
In ^ the desolation of his homestead is differently expressed ; 
as a mark of the curse of God, brimstone falls on it and makes 
it uninhabitable: cp. Gn. 19-*, Dt. 29-^, Ps. 11^. ST for * has : 
His wife (^ : she) shall dwell in a tent not his. According to 
Ehrlich the v. means that "it," viz. the infection of leprosy, 
continues in the house after it has ceased to be the leper's, and 
the house is disinfected with sulphur. 

16. The wicked man leaves no posterity ; his whole family 
perishes with him, and consequently (^^) he not only dies, but 
is forgotten. For the figure, cp. Am. 2^ ; in ^^ the same state- 
ment is made literally. Bu. omits i^ : ffl^ 15b. 16 (15a ^ 19c ^) . ^^t 
the author of Job is fond of referring to, or drawing figures or 
using metaphors derived from, plant-life: see S^*"^- 14'^ i^soff. 
19^°. — Iscntoff\ rather than droops, iviihers {sG.e. phil. n. on 14^) : 
since ^ scarcely states the sequence to *, there is no force in 
Di.'s argument that withering and not cutting off" is the result 
of drying up the roots : the purpose of the figure is rather to 
depict the immediate and simultaneous destruction of branch 
and root : both perish at once, and from the dried up roots no 
fresh branches (ct. 14^) will ever grow. 

17. He is forgotten in the cultivated country (cp. Ps. 49^^) 
in which his awn homestead and fields lay, and over the wide 
stretch of the steppe country beyond into which he sent his 
cattle to graze (see phil. n.). 


1 62 THE BOOK OF JOB [XVIII. 18-21. 

^^ He is thrust forth from light into darkness, 

And chased out of the world. 
^^ He hath neither offspring- nor family among his people, 

Nor any survivor in the place where he sojourned. 
2^ At his day they of the east are appalled, 

And they of the west lay hold on horror. 
^^ Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, 

And this is the place of him that knoweth not God. 

18. 19. repeats the idea of 1*, ^^ of ^^.—From light into 
dark7tess\ from the light (3^'') of life (33^*^, Ps. 56^^ : cp. c. 3-" 
"light" li to "life") into the darkness of Sheol (as lo^i'- 

19. N'or any survivor\ from God's judgment on his house 
and family. — The place (or, rather, the places) where he so- 
joumed\ enjoyed guest-right: the phrase (V")1JD3) is expressive: 
^^ has already stated that no one of his will remain in his house 
after him; this v. goes further; no one will escape the judg- 
ment and be found casting himself on the hospitality of others 
(cp. the parallel "among his people"). 

20. The whole world is horrified at the wicked man's fate, 
— At his day] the day of his death and of God's punishment of 
him : cp. i S. 26^°, Ps. 37^^, Jer. ^o^"^. <& At him {yci'h^ as 
2o23 27^3, for "iio"!'' ^v) is inferior. — They of the east . . . they oj 
the west] or, the later ones . . . the former ones (see phil. n.) ; 
i.e. the wicked man's contemporaries on earth, and, as the 
news reaches them in Sheol, those who have predeceased him ; 
so terrible is the death of the wicked that the very shades in 
Sheol are horrified at it. — Lay hold on horror] for the idiom, cp. 
21^, Is. 13^: it is quite unnecessary to forsake ^^ for G, on 
them of the west horror lays hold. 

21. The V. clinches the argument implicit in the previous 
description of the wicked : such a fate and none other awaits the 
wicked : cp. the conclusion to Sophar's speech, 20^^ ; ct. the 
conclusion to Eliphaz's first speech, which summarizes the pre- 
ceding description of the man who fears God, and 8^^ where 
Bildad summarizes, as here, his description of the wicked, but 
then 8'^**"^^ closes on a happier and more hopeful note ; Sophar 

XVIII. 21-XIX. 3.] JOB 163 

XIX. ^ Then Job answered and said, 

2 How long will ye vex my soul, 

And break me in pieces with words ? 
^ These ten times ye put me to confusion ; 

Ye are not ashamed that ye deal wrongfully against me. 

alone in the first round of speeches closes on a sinister note, 
1 1^0; all alike so close their second speeches. 

XIX. Job's reply to Bildad's second speech.— How long 
are the friends to go on wronging Job by false accusations (-'•); 
Job's calamities are due not to just punishment for sin, but to 
God's unjust and violent treatment of him (*"'^) ; God's hostility 
(8-^2j has led to the alienation of Job's family and acquaintances 
p3-i9j and left him with nothing but bare existence {^^)? Cannot 
his friends pity him ? Why do they instead increasingly perse- 
cute him (21'-)? If only his assertion of innocence might be 
perpetuated (after his now imminent death) (^s'-) ! It will be ; 
and, moreover, God will vindicate him and show Himself to be 
on his side (25-27) j and so the friends will contiuue their perse- 
cution of him at their peril {^^^■) ! 

2-6. How long are the friends to go on aggravating Job's 
sufferings by what they say ? They have repeatedly and 
shamelessly wronged him (^) by suggesting that the cause of 
his great and extraordinary sufferings lies in his sin ; but it 
does not ; on the contrary, the cause of his suffering is that 
God has turned the scales of justice against him (^), so that 
there has wrongly fallen to him the penalty of great crimes 
which he had never committed ; and thereby God has given 
a ground, according to the current theory, for an argument 
against his innocence. 

2. How long-] beginning like Bildad, 18^. — Vex my soul] by your 
severe and uncompassionate treatment of me ; for the vb., cp. 
especially Is. 51^3, " I (Yahweh) will put it (the cup of my fury) 
into the hand of those that vexed thee, that said to thy soul, Bow 
down that we may pass over" ; La. i^- ^^ of the pain caused to 
Sion by Yahweh's severe punishment of her ; 3^2 (antithetical 
to " show compassion "). Not only do his ''comforters" not 
alleviate (16^^), they positively add to his sufferings (cp. iS^). 

164 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIX. 3^. 

* And be it indeed that I have erred, 
Mine error remaineth with myself. 

3. These ten times\ i.e. these many times : how often ! cp. 
Nu. 14^'^ ; also for ten = many, Gn. 31'', Lv. 26-^. 

4. The exact force of the v. is far from clear. In the first 
place, does it virtually admit error or (cp. No. 4 below) deny it? 
Certainly an admission of such error as would deserve what 
Job now suifers is out of the question. But error is a mild 
word; cp. "Errors, who can discern" (Ps. 19^^); the possi- 
bility of errors, unknown to himself, weighs upon the conscience 
of the religiously sensitive man, but these do not account, like 
great transgressions, for great sufferings. If, then, the v. admits 
such error (and even sin Job admits elsewhere, 10^ n. 13-*'), it 
is best taken as meaning : granted that I have sinned, the 
penalty of that sin no doubt comes home to me, but it aflFords 
no ground for you (^) to argue from the reproach which my 
great sufferings cast upon me that I have greatly sinned. 
Richter (ly: dX for D30X) gives a special turn to the kind of 
error admitted : If in my youth I erred (cp. 13^^, Ps. 25'^), Is my 
error (for ever) to abide with me ? But the vb. (p^) refers to a 
recurrent and temporary, rather than to a permanent stay. 
Other interpretations are : (i) Granted I have erred, my error 
is my affair, not yours ; but this is only possible, and even then 
unsatisfactory, if the admission of error is tantamount to the 
denial of great sin ; for if Job has greatly sinned, that is 
altogether an affair of the friends, being the complete justifica- 
tion of their case against him : moreover, in 6^* Job appealed 
to the friends to make plain to him what his error was : 
(2) Granted I have erred, I alone am cognizant (nx as 12^ 14^ : 
cp. Dy, 9^^ n.) of my errors, i.e. my sin is venial, not gross and 
open, and you, having no real knowledge of it, are charging 
me with sin without justification (Di.); but, as Hi. pointed out, 
one of the charges of the friends against Job is precisely what 
on this hypothesis he admits, viz. that he keeps his sin to 
himself, making no confession of it ; (3) my sin hurts only 
myself, not you — a parallel to 7-^ (Job's sin does not injure 
God): so Peake; (4), Du. : "Have I indeed erred? With me 

XIX. 4-7.] JOB 165 

^ If indeed ye magriify yourselves against me, 

And argue against me my reproach ; 
^ Know then that God hath subverted me (in my cause), 

And hath compassed me about with his net. 
^ Behold, I cry out, Violence ! but I am not answered : 

I cry for help, but there is no judgment. 

doth error (so G) tarry?" the question (expressed by the 
emotional C)N"i instead of the interrogative particle) of course 
expecting the answer no. This would be the best explanation 
if, where the interrogation is so important, the particle could 
be omitted (G-K. i5o«). 

5 f. An alternative translation of ^ is : Will ye indeed 
magnify yourselves . . . and argue . . .? cp. Lex. s.v. ua, ^ob. 
On the other hand, the translation, If indeed ye will magiiify 
yourselves against me, then argue (or prove), etc., can scarcely 
be defended, the impf. with waw in the apodosis being ab- 
normal (Dr. § 136). Translated as above, the imperative (lyi) 
without waw may be paralleled by i S. 20^1 21^^ (Dr. 136/3''). 

6. God has done what Bildad (8^) and Elihu (34^2) think 
impossible : He has perverted justice : Job is ensnared like 
an innocent beast by a mighty, ruthless hunter. — Ne/] see 
phil. n. : the word is different from any of those used in i8^~^''. 

7-20. Description of God's severe dealings with Job, both 
C^'^, a series of figures) generally, and (i3-2o^ jj^ particular by 
estranging those to whom he might most naturally have 
turned for comfort and support, so leaving Job abandoned of 
men and alone. 

7. Not Job (16^^), but God is the doer of violence, and Job 
is His victim ; he calls out, to attract the notice of passers-by 
(Dt. 22"*), Violence ! (cp. Jer. 20^, Hab. i'^), but none of them 
respond or give him assistance to secure justice against his 
assailant. — lam not answered^ by any man : this is the neces- 
sary implication of the pass, in Pr. 21^^; if the meaning is I am 
not answered by God (cp. 30-*^, Hab. i^), then there is the same 
double thought of God which has appeared before (i6^^-2^ 17^ n.): 
Against God assailing me I cry out to God passing by — but 
receive no help. 

1 66 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIX. 8-13. 

^ My path he hath fenced up that I cannot pass, 

And upon my paths he setteth darkness. 
^ My glory he hath stripped from off me, 

And he hath taken away the crown on my head. 
^° He breaketh me down on every side, and I am gone ; 

And he hath plucked up mine hope like a tree. 
^^ He hath also kindled his wrath against me. 

And he counteth me unto him as (one of) his adversaries. 
^2 One and all his troops come on, 

And cast up their way against me, 
And encamp round about my tent. 
13 My brethren he hath put far from me, 

And mine acquaintance are wholly estranged from me. 
1* My kinsfolk have failed. 

And my familiar friends have forgotten me. 

8. Fresh figures : God prevents Job pursuing his way by 
setting barriers across it and involving it in darkness : cp. La. 
3^, and see on 3^^. 

9. God has stripped Job bare of the reputation for righteous- 
ness which he once enjoyed (29^*) ; bereft of his possessions he 
is in the estimate of the world a sinner. 

10. Breaketh me down] The fig. in * is of a building : Job's 
life is in ruins : nor is there any chance of restoration : ^ any 
hope he might have had is like a tree not merely cut down and 
still capable of shooting up again (14^), but uprooted. 

lib. = 132*. 

12. God's troops lay siege to Job : military figures are also 
used in lo^'^ 16^* 30^^- — Casi up their way] i.e. create siege 
works from which to attack the invested fortress. — My tent] 
absent from (&, in which ^^ is a distich. 

13. He hath put far] fflr have gone far, in agreement with 
the following lines (i3b-i9^^ where the vbs. indicate directly the 
action of Job's friends in avoiding him : so Di. — Mine acquaint- 
ance] cp. 42^1 ; but a very slight change (lyni for "•yT') gives 
they have known il {and): so Me. Bi.^ Bu., thus securing a 
whole distich for the "brethren," and avoiding the close juxta- 
position of ''VT 13^ and ''j;T'D ^*''. 

XIX. 14-17.] JOB 167 

^^ They that sojourn in my house, and my maids, count me for 

a stranger : 

I am become an alien in their sight. 
^^ I call unto my servant, and he giveth me no answer; 

With my mouth must I entreat him. 
^' My breath is strange to my wife, 

And I am loathsome to the children of my (mother's) womb. 

14 f. The division of the lines in fH is probably faulty (see 
phil. n.): an alternative division allows the rendering, 
My kinsmen and my familiar friends have failed. 

They that sojourn in my house have forgotten me ; 
And my maids count me for a stranger, 
I am become an alien in their sight- 
But not improbably the fourth of these lines has suffered 
transposition and originally was the parallel to the first. 

Kinsfolk\ Heb. those that are near, used of those nearly 
related: cp. Lv. 21^^-, where the range of the term is exemplified; 
cp. also Lv. 25^^, Nu. 27", and, in a similar context to the 
present, Ps. 38^- ^^^\ " those that are near (of kin) to me stand 
afar off." — Failed] lit. ceased (cp. 14'^), i.e. to treat me as a kins- 
man or the like. Du. for have failed and my fa7niliar friends 
reads have ceased to know me : but see phil. n. — Familiar friends\ 
^j;td as Ps. 3112(11) gg9(8) 5514(12), 2 K. loi^. 

15. They that sojourn] those who had sought the pro- 
tection of Job's house and enjoyed his hospitality — the_^^r(EV. 
"stranger") of Ex. 201". — Maids] female slaves. — A stranger] 
or alien^ properly one who belongs to another family, class, or 
community (cp. Nu. i^'^n.): the tables are now so completely 
turned that the very persons who owed their places in the 
household to Job now look upon him as one outside the family. 
— Alien] or foreigner. 

16. Job's slave, instead of waiting for and immediately 
responding to the least gesture indicative of his wish (Ps. 123^), 
does not even obey an express command ; and at best now he 
only responds to humble entreaty and appeal for compassion. 

17. The loathsome features of his disease {2^ n.) repel Job's 
nearest and dearest relations — his wife, and those who had 

1 68 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIX. 17-20. 

^^ Even young children despise me ; 

I would arise, and they speak against me ! 
'^ All the men of my circle abhor me ; 

And they whom I loved are turned against me. 
2" My bone cleaveth to my skin^, 

And I am escaped "^with my flesh in my teeth. ' 

issued from the same womb as himself. — The children of my 
{mothers) womb] i.e. my uterine brothers (and sisters), a far 
narrower term than the "brethren" of ^^ : cp. the limiting 
clause attached to " brother(s) " in Gn. 43^9, Jg. 8^^ "My 
brethren, the sons of my mother." " My womb," meaning "my 
mother's womb," has already occurred in 3^°. If it were neces- 
sary to explain the phrase of children (cp. Mic. 6'^, Ps. 132'^) of 
Job, the passage would probably be in conflict with the Pro- 
logue (and also 8* 29^: see n.), according to which all Job's 
children had perished ; for the alternative suggestions are un- 
satisfactory, viz. that the children intended are children of 
concubines ((!j Ew.), or grandchildren (Hrz.). W. R. Smith 
[Kifisfiip and Marriage in Early Arabia, p, 34) explained the 
phrase as meaning clansinen [belen, as in Arabia, mean- 
ing clan) ; but this would make '^'^^ more nearly a repetition 
of 13a. 

18. The young children about his house (see phil. n.), though 
not, of course, his own children, mock at (cp. 2 K. 2^^) his 
diseased appearance, or '' the difficulty with which alone he can 
rise from the ground. 

19. The men of my circle^ or confidence (mn : 15^ phil. n.); 
the men to whom he had been wont to communicate his secrets, 
or intimate thoughts (cp. Ps. SS^^^^*^). 

20. Job is already little better than a skeleton, and his hold 
on life precarious. With * cp. Ps. 102*'^, La. 4^. — To 7ny skin] 
'^ + a7td to my flesh \ but see phil. n. — With my flesh in my 
teeth] cp. 13I*. ?^ with the skin of my teeth: the words have 
passed into a proverb for nothing, or next to nothing ; but, as 
they are probably the result of an accidental corruption of the 
text, it is not surprising that the origin and exact meaning of 
"skin of the teeth" has remained obscure; various theories 

XIX. 20-22.] JOB 1 69 

21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends ; 

For the hand of God hath touched me. 

22 Why do ye persecute me as God, 

And are not satisfied with my flesh ? 

are cited and discussed by Di. and Del. Other emendations ot 
the V. are discussed in the phil. n. 

21 f. Ruthlessly assailed by God and abandoned by other 
men, even those nearest him, Job, yearning- for some support, 
appeals to the compassion of the three friends who, unlike 
others, were at least physically still near him : for the moment 
all thought of argument is abandoned ; he no longer seeks to 
convince them, or asks them to be just to him ; he asks them 
tohe kind; he makes his appeal on the two grounds that they 
were old friends of his and that he is sorely smitten ; but the 
second ground of his appeal is the very reason why the friends 
cannot be kind in the only sense that will satisfy Job ; he 
wishes them not to continue to hold him guilty of sin, and 
they, because he is smitten by God, are convinced that he is. 
The appeal of ^i, so unlike Job's other addresses to the friends, 
is abandoned : the friends give no sign of relenting ; and in 22, 
after his usual manner. Job asks them the cause and meaning 
of their cruel treatment. — Have pity upon me\ or, be kind, 
gracious to me : cp. the use of the vb. in Dt. 7^ 28^^ Ps. 37^^ 
— Touched] as i^^ (see n. there) 2^. 

22. Why, relentless and persistent as God, do they never 
come to an end of calumniating him by arguing that he has 
committed great sins ? — Are not satisfied with my flesh] here the 
meaning (ct. 31^^) rests on the use of the phrase "to eat the 
flesh, or fragments, of a man," in the sense of to calumniate or 
accuse him; cp. in Aram. Dn. 3^ 6-^^24) h^q gat the fragments 
of" (EV. "accuse"); and "the eater of fragments" is the 
rendering of 8ui^o\o<; in the Peshitta of the NT. ; and in the 
Qor. (49^^) Mohammed plays on the two meanings of the phrase, 
the literal and the metaphorical : " Let not one of you traduce 
another in his absence. Would any of you like to eat the flesh 
of his brother being dead? Surely ye would loathe it." See 
further, Schult. on this passage, Ges. Thes. g\a. — Are not 

170 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIX. 22-24. 

^ Oh would, then, that my words were written ! 

Oh would that they were inscribed in a book ! 
2^ That with an iron pen and lead 

They were for ever graven in the rock. 

satisfied 'witJ{\ never come to an end of, never have enough of; 
cp. Pr. 30^^^-. 

23 f. When Job dies, the insatiable hunger of the friends 
for calumniating him (^^bj will continue ; and, their accusations 
being unchallenged, he will pass down to posterity as a great 
sinner. His first reaction (a second follows in 2^) against this 
thought is a wish : this wish is expressed in ^3*, and reinforced 
with details so arranged as to reach a climax in -^^- ^^ : would 
that my words were written (2^*), for an abiding testimony, in a 
book (^^*'), or even more enduringly and conspicuously in (lead 
or) rock (^*) : in that case, to the end of time, the charges 
brought against his name will, at least, never pass unchallenged ; 
and he, even after death, will continue to defend his integrity. 

23. My words] not the words that follow in ~^^- (Hi.) fan 
inscription {^*) would start strangely with the conj. ("'ONl) at the 
beginning of ^^), nor the exact words of Job's previous speeches 
in their full extent, but the substance of those speeches, in so 
far as they maintained his integrity against the accusations {"^^) 
of the friends. — Inscribed] Is. 30^. — In a book] or scroll (31^^ n.), 
where they would continue as an enduring testimony : cp. 
Is. 30^. The term *' book " does not necessarily imply extensive 
contents: it is used, e.g:, of a deed of purchase (Jer. 32^^), or 
divorce (Dt. 24^), or of a letter (2 S. 11^^). Du., in his {i.e. 
God's) book, on the ground that Job would not express a wish 
which he could himself most easily satisfy ; the suggestion is 
well criticized by Peake : see also phil. n. 

24. It is uncertain whether this v. referred to inscriptions 
on one, or on two (cp. SU) different materials, though Pf is 
most naturally taken as referring to but one, and this also seems 
most effective ; in this case the v. has been understood (since 
Rashi) to refer to engraving with an iron stylus (cp. Jer. 17^) in 
the rock, and then, for greater clearness and lastingness, filling 
in the letters with lead. If two materials are referred to, it 

XIX. 24 25,] JOB 171 

^ But I know that my vindicator liveth, 

And that hereafter he will stand up upon the dust. 

is best, adopting two slight emendations (see phil. n.), tc 
render, That with an iron stylus on lead. Or for ever in the 
rock they were graven. The climax is then reached in three 
stages : let my assertions of innocence be perpetuated in a 
written scroll^ or, in what is more enduring, on lead{en tablets), 
or, in what is more enduring still, immovable also, and so free 
from risk of being lost, and conspicuous too — in the rock. Is 
the poet thinking of inscriptions cut in the rocks over tombs ? 
Inscribed leaden tablets were much used in antiquity (Paus. 
ix. 31*; Pliny, H.N. 13. 669), especially for imprecations (cp. 
Tac. Ann. ii. 69, "nomen Germanici plumbeis tabulis insculp- 
tum "), and many such tablets have been discovered, including 
one containing a Phoenician inscription from Carthage of about 
the 3rd or 2nd cent. B.C. ; see Wiinsch, De/ixionum tabellce 
AtticcB (cp. Bliss, Macalister, and Wiinsch, Excavations in 
Palestine, pp. 185-187; Cooke, NSI, No. 50, and the literature 
there cited). 

25. But to the first (^^'•) there now succeeds a second re- 
action to the thought (^') that his character after death will be 
undefended against the accusations which will still continue. 
This second reaction takes the form not, like the first, of a 
wish, but of a conviction under great emotional excitement 
(cp. ^'^). For the moment, at least. Job is convinced that there is 
to be some better defence of his character than his own assertions 
recorded in writing for ever ; not the indelible letters of a dead 
man, but a living person will defend and vindicate his character : 
none other than the living God Himself will at last free his 
name from reproach. In another remarkable respect the second 
appears to pass beyond the first thought, though corruption 
and obscurity of the text leave this point more ambiguous than 
could have been desired. In ^sf- Job is, relatively, satisfied to 
die, if he can be sure that as in life, so after death the accusa- 
tions against him will not pass unchallenged ; the written 
record made before his death will endure afterwards— a per- 
petual challenge. After death, as in life. Job will thus maintain 


his own integrity. But the second thought is that his integrity 
will be maintained not merely by himself, but established by 
another, and that other God : in other words, a great change 
will occur after death : and of this change Job, even in death, 
will become conscious (vv.^^- ^^a) ; in life, right up to death, 
God has seemed to himself as to his friends against him ; but 
when He vindicates Job, He will thereby range Himself on 
Job's side ; and this change Job will see : his eyes will behold 
God on his side at last. Even if, as on the whole (in spite of 
i^}"^^-) seems best, we thus interpret, there is still no belief 
here in a contimied life of blessedness after death in which 
compensation in kind will be made for the inequalities of this 
life ; the movement in the direction of a belief in a future which 
is here found is rather in response to the conviction that com- 
munion with God is real ; in a moment after death it will be 
given to Job to know that he was not deluded in maintaining 
his integrity, and that he had not really forfeited the confidence 
of God. An alternative theory of these verses (Bu, Kautzsch) 
makes Job expect the vision of God i^^) this side of death ; and, 
so far as the difficult and in part corrupt lines {^^^- ^^*- ^) are 
concerned, there would be much to be said for interpreting 
the obscurities and ambiguities of the text towards this less 
startling conclusion ; but the theory does not appear to give 
due weight to the fact that in -^^- (as also in 16^^^) Job clearly 
expects to die before his character is cleared, and that no 
transition to the contrary thought, that he will only die after 
that has taken place, is to be discovered in ^^ ; on the other 
hand, the stress laid on the fact that the vindicator lives can 
be most naturally, if not only, explained as due to the implicit 
antithesis that Job will die. The other thought would naturally 
have been expressed in some such form as : I know that I shall 
live, and that I shall yet see God upon the earth (cp. Ps. 42*'^^^ 
Is. 38^^) and on my side ; and if this actually was the thought 
of the writer, it would be best to regard the word " liveth " as 
an intrusion into the text: but for this there is no sufficient 
reason (see phi I. n.) Bruston [Revue de theologie et des ques- 
tions religenses^ 1900, 244; ZATIV, 1906, 143-146) understands 
Job to be describmg a present vision of God vindicating him in the 

XIX. 25.] JOB 173 

future, when he is dead and no long"er conscious. The obscure 
rendering's of tfa (understood b} Clement of Rome {Cor. 20) and 
Orig'en (on Mt. 17-'': P.G. xiii. 1566) of the resurrection, but 
otherwise by most scholars of the Eastern Church from Chry- 
sostom downwards) S2E do not justify the conclusion that the 
translators detected a reference to experience after death : on 
the other hand, U (hence AV.), with all clearness, does so and 
even introduces the idea of the resurrection 0/ the body (cp. 
Aug. Dc Civ. Dei, xxii. 29). On the history of the interpreta- 
tion of the passage, see Speer, Zur Exegese von Hiob iq^^'^, in 
ZATW, 1905, pp. 47-140 (with references to earlier discussions, 
p. 49). — My vi7idicator\ The one who will vindicate me, estab- 
lish my character; cp. ** My witness," "He that voucheth for 
me," 16^^. The Hebrew term goel (cp. 3^ n.) may, by itself, 
without the addition of Din, denote "the avenger of blood," 
and has sometimes been understood in this special sense here 
(cp. i6^^^-); but the thought of murder is not suggested here, 
and the gocl had many other functions besides that of securing 
an equivalent for blood slain ; he had to vindicate various claims 
and rights (cp. e.g. Lv. 25^^). With the present usage, cp. 
especially Pr. 23^^: Do not oppress widows and orphans, " for 
their vindicator {i.e. God) is mighty, He will plead their cause 
against thee": also Ps. 119^^*. — LivetJi\ i.e. implicitly, for ever 
(cp. the phrase " the living God"): not something written for 
ever (-^), but a person who lives for ever will for ever vindicate 
Job. — Hereafter] lit. as 07ie {coining) after (or, at the last) ; see 
phil. n. The particular nuance given to the phrase differs 
according to the view taken of the passage as a whole ; by 
itself it might equally well mean as one coining after (I am 
dead) ; cp. Ec. 4^^ ; or, as one "who comes last and says the last 
word — and that in Job's favour — in the dispute (Bu.). The 
line would read more easily if, instead of this phrase, there was 
a parallel to "my vindicator," such as "my afterman " (but 
see phil. n.). — Stand up\ or rise up, as witness (cp. e.g. Dt. 
i9^5f.^ Ps, 27!-^), or judge {2,i^\ Ps. 761° 94^6, Is. 2^^ of God). 
On other interpretations and emendations, see phil. n. — Upon 
the dust] perhaps, of Job's grave; cp. 7^^ 17^^ 20^1 21^6 • (also, 
more remotely, 10^ 34^^, Ps. 1042^) ; though it is true, as Bu. 

174 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIX. 25-27. 

26 And .... 

And away from my flesh I shall behold God. 

27 Whom /shall behold (to be) on my side, 

And mine eyes shall see (to be) unestrang-ed. 
My reins fail with longing within me. 

urges, that in these passages, as in others (Ps. 7* 22^*. 30^ jg^ 
26^^, Dn. 1 2-), the reference to the grave is much more clearly 
indicated than here. The alternative is to give the phrase the 
meaning "upon the earth": cp. especially ^i^^^^\ also 5^ 
(II "ground") 14* sg^^^ (|| "earth"): cp. also S^^ 22^^ 2^^ 28^ 
30^ 40^^. If the implication is "upon the earth," there is a 
tacit advance on 16^^: there Job thinks of God his witness as 
in heaven ; ultimately in the judgment of God he is innocent ; 
here he is convinced that God will manifest his innocence to 
those on earth who have levelled accusations against him ; for 
another tacit antithesis between " dust " and " heaven," see 4^' 
(after ^^). We. (see phil. n.) renders against dust, i.e. Job's 
friends and accusers; Bruston {ZATW, 1906, 144), on behalf 
of dust, i.e. of Job, who is soon to become dust ; but though 
man may be said to be dust (Gn. 3^^, Ps. 103^*), that 
particular individuals should be referred to simply as dust is 

26. Line * is altogether obscure and uncertain: see phil. nn. 
Unfortunately * being obscure, the phrase in ^ rendered above, 
aivay from my flesh, i.e. after death, is ambiguous ; in itself it 
may equally well mean /row my flesh, i.e. in life: on the reasons 
derived from the wider context in favour of the former, see 
on 2^. — I shall behold God] cp. Ps. ii^ "the upright behold 
God," Ps. 17^^; Job thus, even in this phrase, implies his 
conviction that he will see God recognizing his integrity, and 
reconciled to him ; but this thought is developed and more 
explicitly stated in the next distich. 

27. In the vision Job will see that God is no longer, like 
men (^^- ^^), and as He Himself now seems, estranged, but 
ranged on his side. — /] emphatic — I, "of whom this might be 
deemed incredible" (Dr. Di.). — On my side] p, as in Gn. 31*^^ 
Ps. 56^*^^^^ 1 18^. — Mine eyes shall see] 42^. — [To be) unestrang-ed] 

XIX. 27-28. J JOB 175 

2*^ If ye say, *' How will we persecute him ! 

Seeing that the root of the matter is found in 'him^ " ; 

or (to be) not a stranger (^^ n.). The grammatically possible 
alternative rendering of the line, And mine eyes and not {those 
of) a strayiger, shall see, is far less probable ; no doubt Job 
alone might see God while others present at the time only hear 
Job's vindication or see some accompaniment of the vision (cp. 
2 K. 2 ; Du. ; add Acts 9'^) ; but Job is not at this moment 
interested in what will not happen to some one else, but in 
what will happen to himself, and in particular the aspect under 
which he will see God — God once more his friend. Moreover, 
what Job longs for is not the mere outward sight of a material 
manifestation, but direct inward vision or experience of God's 
attitude towards him : cp. n. on 42^. 

27c. The thought of the vision fills Job with deep emotion, 
and longing to see it realized. — Reins\ in Hebrew psycho- 
logy the seat of intense feeling : cp. Ps. 16^, Pr. 23^^. — Fail 
with longing] the vb. to fail [rhd] with the same meaning as 
in Ps. 84=^® 11981 (predicated of the soul), 69^(3) iig82c.i23._ 
Within me] not the usual phrase (''3"ipa), but lit. in my bosom: 
cp., perhaps, Ec. 7^ and c. 23^2 (emended). King {J.Th.S. 
XV. 76 ff.) to avoid '• my reins ... in my bosom " would render 
the line, "I am fully determined in my bosom," or "I fully 
trust in my bosom " (cp. U) ; but this is hazardous. Possibly, 
however, the line, an isolated stichos, is corrupt. 

28 f. A closing warning for the friends: if they persist in 
persecuting (^s^. ; cp. 2^) him on the ground that the sufferings of 
Job, the root of the matter at issue (im, as Ex. 18^^) and under 
discussion, are due to sin in Job, let them beware lest they 
themselves become the victims of the sword (Dt. 32*1) of divine 
justice. — b. Him] ^ me : see phil. n. Adopting this emendation 
we might alternatively render the line, And find the root of the 
matter in him; but the order of the words does not favour 
this ; and if the point were that the friends will push their 
scrutiny into Job's case till they detect the hidden mischief that 
lurks within him (Peake), a stronger vb. than ''find," such as 
** search out," would be used. 

176 THE BOOK OF JOB [XIX. 29-XX. 3 

2^ Be ye afraid of the sword : 

For "^such thing's^ are iniquities meet for the sword, 
That ye may know there is a judg-e. 
XX. ^ Then answered Sophar the Na'amathite, and said, 
■^ Therefore my thoughts "^disturb^ me, 

And by reason of "^this^ my haste is within me. 
^ The correction which putteth me to confusion must I 

But out of my understanding a spirit answereth me. 

29. Lines ^- ^ are more or less corrupt ; for alternative 
emendations, see phil. n. — Siich thi?igs^ ^ wrath. — A judge] jiH 

XX. Sophar's second speech. — Provoked by Job's foolish 
words (2*-), Sophar asks, though exceptionally (see 4^ n.) the 
speech does not begin with the question, whether Job is un- 
aware (implying by the question that, of course. Job cannot be 
unaware) of the fact, old as history (*), that the wicked, if they 
are exalted for a brief space (^^•), perish ignobly (^), and utterly 
vanish (^^•), and their children are reduced to want (^'•). All in 
their life that promised well is turned to bitterness (^i-is) ; they 
are forced to disgorge their unjustly and cruelly gained wealth 
^i9-22j . fQj. Qq(J punishes them 1^^), and if they escape one 
disaster, it is but to succumb to another (24-26j_ Heaven and 
earth turn witness against them (2'^), and they lose all i^^) : such 
is the fate of the wicked (2^). 

2. Disturb] "^ answer: see phil. n. — b. "^ atid by reason of 
mv haste within me ; see phil. n. — Haste] or, perhaps, emotion. 
The rebukes administered and advice offered by Job {e.g. 
ig-f—3f-), which are an affront (■^^) to Sophar, call forth the 
present impetuous or passionate reply. 

3. The correction which, etc.] "TlD^D "IDIO : cp. (iJOli't;' 'o, " the 
correction which led to our peace," Is. 53^). — Which putteth me 
to confusion] a retort to Job's complaint, 19^. — b. A bad parallel 
to % and scarely intelligible : but see phil n. Slightly emended, 
the line gives excellent parallelism and sense : And with wind 
void of understanding thou answerest me: cp, 8^ (Bildad), 15^ 

XX. 4-10.] SOPHAR 177 

* Dost thou know this (as being-) from of old, 

Since man was placed upon the earth, 
^ That the triumphing of the wicked is short. 

And the joy of the godless but for a moment ? 

* Though his loftiness mount up to the heavens, 

And his head reach unto the clouds ; 
^ Like his (own) dung- he perisheth for ever : 

They who have seen him say. Where is he ? 
^ He flieth away as a dream, and is not found ; 

And he is chased away as a vision of the night. 

* The eye which saw him seeth him no more ; 

Neither doth his place any more behold him. 
^^ His children court the favour of the poor, 
And his hands give back his wealth. 

4b. Cp. Dt. 432. 

5. The trii(mphing\ i.e. the exultant joyous shout (n:3"i, as 
3^, Ps. loo^ 63^). 

6. Cp. Is. 14^^. 

7a. Like his own dung\ completely (cp. '' i K. 14^^, 2 K. 9^^) 
and shamefully. But the unnecessary suffix, though not the 
coarseness of the figure (for cp. ^^, though scarcely ii^-, which 
Di. also quotes), may throw doubt on the correctness of the 
text or translation. S like a whirlwijid ; Ew. like his majesty 
(Ar. jalal) ; Che. {ET. x. 382) like Jiis glory (n23) ; King 
{J.Th.S. XV. 39), while he is confiding (l^^JD, a vb. : cp. Ps, 22^^^^ 
37^, Pr. 16^; but these passages do not justify giving to ^isj (lit. 
to roll) used absolutely the sense to co7i/ide). — Where is he] 

cp. 14^*^. 

8. For the figures, cp. Is. 29'^, Ps. 7 



9. Line '' closely resembles f^ (Job), Ps. 103^^'', ^ 7^0*'. Cp. 
also 8^8 (Bildad). 

lOa. Or, The poor oppress his children ; or. His children 
are crushed into poor ones : see phil. n. In any case, the 
meaning is that his children are, or sufi"er as, the poorest of 
the poor (cp. 5* Eliphaz). Coming after ^ it would be easy to 
understand '^^^ of the impoverishment of the children after the 
wicked man's death ; but in that case ^' also should refer to 


178 THE BOOK OF JOB [XX. 10-16. 

" His bones are full of his youth, 

But it will lie down with him in the dust. 
^2 Thoug-h wickedness be sweet in his mouth, 

Thoug-h he hide it under his tongue ; 
^^ Though he spare it, and do not let it go, 

But keep it still within his palate ; 
^•* (Yet) his food in his bowels is turned; 

The gall of cobras is within him. 

^^ He swalloweth down riches, and vomiteth them up again ; 

Out of his belly God doth cast them. 
'* The poison of cobras he sucketh, 
The viper's tongue doth slay him. 

the children, and their hands should be read (see phil. n.). 
Alternatively ^^ rnay, as ^^ certainly does, return to the lifetime 
of the wicked man ; even in his lifetime his children (like him- 
self '^ ^^) are reduced to beggary. 

II. The wicked man dies in the full bloom and vig-our 
of youth — before he has lived even half the allotted span 
of human life (Ps. 55'"^). — Of his youth] AV. follows F in 
gratuitously prefixing the sins. — The dust] i.e. the grave : cp. 
19^^ n. 

12-14. — Wickedness is compared to a dainty morsel (^*- ^^*) 
which is kept in the mouth as long as possible (^^b^ that full 
enjoyment may be had from the taste of it (^^), but which, when 
it passes into the system, proves poisonous (^^). 

15. A different and coarser (cp. v.'^ n., also Jer. 51^*) figure 
derived from eating : the wicked man, in his haste to be rich, 
gluttonously loads his belly with riches, but God administers 
an emetic, and he has to part with them again. It is curious 
that some should connect ^^ closely with ^'^ as continuing the 
same figure ; in helping the wicked to part with what had 
become poisonous, God would be mitigating the punishment, 
and this is certainly not Sophar's thought. 

16. The V. may have been a marginal parallel to ^^^ (so 
Bu.). ^ is, of course, physiologically incorrect ; but the darting 
tongue of the serpent naturally suggested itself as the instru- 
ment of death. 

XX. 17-22.] SOPHAR 1 79 

^"^ Let him not look upon the channels of '^oiP, 

The streams of honey and curdled milk. 
'^ Restoring that which he laboured for, he swallovveth it 

not down ; 

According to the gains of his exchange he rejoiceth not ! 
^^ For he hath oppressed (and) forsaken the poor, 

He seizeth violently a house, but doth not build it up. 
2'^ Because he knew no quietness in his belly, 

He will not escape with his valued possessions. 
2^ Nothing escaped his greed ; 

Therefore his prosperity endureth not. 
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency he is in straits ; 

The hand of every one that is in misery cometh upon 


17. -^ei him noi\ or, Never can he . . .\ see phil, n. — 
Look upoii\ with delight and enjoy the sight of: cp. 33^^, Ps. 
106^ etc. — Oil\ see phil. n. — Curdled miLk\ a form in which 
milk was, and, in Syria, still is, specially enjoyed : see n. on 
Is. 7^^ {Isaiah, p. 129). 

18. He cannot retain, or take pleasure corresponding to, his 
riches. The inconsistency with ^^ need not be pressed. 

19-21. The greedy man acquires and consumes remorse- 
lessly (^9*) and greedily (-°'^- ^i*) ; therefore he is not allowed to 
retain and enjoy his acquisitions. 

19. For\ or rather, if the v. be left unemended, because, as 
in ^"^ ; in all three distichs the first line gives the cause of the 
moral consequence described in the second line, the cause 
being formally indicated in ^^- 2°, the consequence in ^^. Pos- 
sibly, however, this similarity did not exist in the original text 
(see phil. nn.): in that case for may here give the reason for 
^^ : and ^ (And violently seized a house which he had not built) 
a second illustration of his violent conduct. — Build up] enjoy 
the possession of: cp. 20b. 21b ^^^^ ggg jg^g^. j^^ 

20. Because] (& om. ; Du., following fflr, renders *, He hath 
no quietness in his treasure — % then, gives not the cause of '', 
but is a parallel statement. 

22b. Cp. 5^ 

l8o THE BOOK OF JOB [XX. 23-26. 

=3 His belly must be filled ! 
(God) sendeth forth the heat of his ang-er upon him, 
And raineth it upon him as his "^ bread ^. 
2* He may flee from the iron weapon, 

(But) the bow of bronze will strike him through ; 
-^ He draweth it forth, and it cometh out of "^his^ back; 
And the glittering- point out of his gall. 
Terrors "^ are turned^ upon him; 
2*5 All darkness is laid up for his treasures. 

23a. Be filled \ "not with the food he loved, but with the 
rain of Divine judgments" (Ps. 11*^) — Dr. But the line is 
probably a gloss or a fragment (see phil. n.), though Bu., if 
one line must be omitted, would omit **, which is literal, 
between two lines that are figurative. — As his bread] ^ into his 
flesh ; "^ is in general, and was originally, perhaps, more closely, 
parallel to ^ ; on the interpretation and proposed emendations, 
see phil. n. 

24. The doom of the wicked is certain : if he escape one 
form of Divine judgment, it is only to fall a victim to another 
(cp. Am. 5^^ Q^'^"*)- Such is the point of the v., if the text of ^ 
in f^ is correct ; but since ijoeapon (p:i':) is elsewhere a general 
term (39^^, 2 K. 10^, Ps. 140^, and, probably, even Ezk. 39^*-), 
and collective, it should include bows ; in that case the anti- 
thesis would be reduced, unsatisfactorily, to iron and bronze. 
Possibly in the original text, * was synonymous with ^ (cp. ffi), 
not antithetical. In itself ^ certainly does not suggest weapons 
used at close quarters in contrast to arrows that hit at a 
distance (Del. Di. al.). — B0110 of bronze] Ps. 18^^ : fig. for arrows 
shot from a powerful bow. 

25. Lines ^' ^ continue ^^ ; the glittering point of the arrow 
has pierced his vitals (^) (cp. 16^^), before the smitten man can 
extract it (*). For the rest, owing to corruption of the text, 
the figure of the v. is blurred ; and it must remain uncertain 
whether the arrow was pictured as piercing the man /w front, 
and so passing right through him ((5), or as piercing him in 
the back as he flees (^^^ ?^). 

25c, 26a are best taken as independent, neither continuing 

XX. 26-29.] SOPHAR l8l 

A fire not blown (by man) devoureth him ; 

It feedeth on that which is left in his tent. 
2^ The heavens reveal his iniquity. 

And the earth riseth up ag'ainst him. 
2^ The increase of his house goeth into exile, 

As things swept away in the day of wrath. 
2^ This is the portion of a wicked man from God, 

And the heritage appointed unto him by God. 

the fig. of 2i- 25a- b^ nor beginning that of ^e^-c. On the other hand, 
the distich is anything but a necessary conclusion to ^'^y and ^^- ^s*- ^ 
need not be considered out of place (Du.). If it were necessary 
to find a continuation of ^^, it would be better found in ^ob- c_ 
The text is again very uncertain : on 2^", see phil. n. It is 
strange that in -''^ the calamity destined for /iis treasures (rilD^*), 
unless indeed this should be taken personally for his treasured 
ones as in Ps. 83*, should be expressed figuratively by saying 
that darkness is laid up (lit. hidden) for them : for treasures 
are hidden things (3^^), and darkness suggests security rather 
than peril for these. A personal term of some kind is re- 
quired : Me. for his offspring (1'"^<^'X^•f' : cp. %), Du. for him (1^ : 
cp. <&). 

26b, C. A fresh fig. : lightning (see phil. n. and cp. i^^ 
15^* n.) strikes him dead, and destroys what has survived (18^^, 
phil. n.) previous disasters. That the "fire" is fever is im- 

27. " Heaven and earth combine to testify to his guilt (viz. 
by the judgments which they conspire to send against him) " — 
Dr. A reference to iG^**^- ig^ss- (Bu.) is far from certain. 

28. A return to the judgments after ^'^ is not very satisfactory ; 
and 27 and ^s may have become accidentally transposed — an 
accident which would have been facilitated by the similar be- 
ginning (^r) of the first lines of the two distichs. — Goeth into 
exile] similarly Is. 24^^, Hos. 10^; but '^ (pointed bs") may also 
mean rolleth aivay (like a stream) : on this and the questionable 
text of ^ see phil. n. 

29. Cp. 18'^^ (for the form of conclusion), 27^^ (for the con- 
tents of the V. : also 31^). 

1 82 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXI. 1-3, 

XXI. ^ Then Job answered and said, 
2 Hear diligently my speech ; 

And let this be your consolation. 
^ Suffer me, and /will speak, 

And after that I have spoken, mock on. 

XXI. Job's reply to Sophar's second speech. — Vv.^ •^ 
introductory ; "^'^^ the facts are not as Sophar represents ; on the 
contrary, the wicked actually live even to old age, enjoying all 
manner of prosperity. Why? For (^*^-) they are even openly 
defiant of God. No doubt it sometimes happens that calamity 
befalls the wicked; but how often (^'^^■)? Perhaps, too, God 
punishes the children of the wicked after the fathers are dead ; 
but that does not affect the wicked themselves ('^"^i^^ Yox^ 
once life is over, one who has enjoyed prosperity up to the end 
is no worse off than one who has lived miserably ; difference of 
fortune belongs to life only ; the dead share all a common fate 
^23-26j jvJq^ only are the friends wrong as to facts, but wrong 
also in their inference that because Job's house has been 
destroyed. Job is wicked (^^'•). It is in those that escape 
calamity that wickedness might more safely be suspected ; but 
men are afraid to accuse powerful sinners, however patent 
their sins ; they rather cringe before them in their lifetime, 
and honour them in death (29-33^^ 

The emphasis in this speech lies not on Job's suffering in 
spite of his righteousness, but on the appalling (^^•) fact that 
men prosper in spite of being wicked — an appalling fact since 
it seems to reflect on God (•*) ; cp. Jer. 12^"^, Ps. 73^"^^. 

2. The speeches of the friends gave Job no comfort (^* \& : 
cp. 15^^); but their attention, if they will give it, as he pro- 
pounds this dark riddle of God's conduct, he will accept as 
such. — Your co?isolaiiofi\ ct. "the consolations of God," 15^^ n. 

3. After he has spoken, they may, if they can or will, con- 
tinue to mock. — Mock on] in f^ (not (Sc) the vb. is sing, as 
addressed to Sophar alone : cp. 16^ 26- (n.) ; Bu. thinks the 
sing, original, and the correct reply to 20- where Sophar alone 
speaks for the friends ; but it is difficult to see how 20- could 
have been in the first pi. 

XXI. 4-10.] JOB 183 

* As for me, is my complaint of man ? 

And why should I not be impatient? 
^ Mark me, and be astonished, 

And lay (your) hand upon (your) mouth ; 
^ Even when I remember I am dismayed, 

And horror taketh hold on my flesh. 
' Wherefore do the wicked live. 

Become old, yea, wax mighty in power? 
^ Their seed is established with them. 

And their offspring- before their eyes. 
*• Their houses are safe from fear. 

Neither is the rod of God upon them. 
^^ Their bull gendereth, and showeth no loathing; 

Their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. 

4. Not of men, and therefore not of you, but of God I com- 
plain, whose ways with men give me good reason to be impatient. 
— Complaint\ 7^^ (phil. n.) ^^ 9^^^ 10^ 23^. — Irnpatient\ G^x\. 

5f. If the friends will lend Job their attention as he ex- 
pounds his theme, viz., the anomalies of God's moral govern- 
ment and His preferential treatment of the wicked, they will 
be astounded, as Job himself (^) is already, to find i^^-) that 
God suffers the wicked to prosper. — Mark me] lit. iurn to me, 
i.e. attentively : the two imperatives form a virtually hypo- 
thetical sentence. — Lay hand upon mouth] in awe-struck silence: 
40^, Mic. 7^^. 

7. Ct. 2o5 and, with ^- 11 20^0 (Sophar) ; also iS^e- 19 (Bildad), 

I-20fl.33f. (Eliphaz). 

8. The wicked continue to have their children as they grow 
old C^), their children's children also, about them, and to enjoy 
the sight of them ; they are spared the cruel bereavements which 
had been multiplied for Job. At present the reference to the 
children is broken off by ^^- and resumed in ^^ : Hi. Du. place 
^ after ^^, — the best and simplest transposition : Me. rearranged 
VV.7-" in the order ''• »• ^i- lo- 9. 

9. Safe from fi(i/\ prosperous (5^^), with no fear of un- 
welcome change. — b. Another contrast to Job's lot : see 9^*. 

10. No accident hinders the increase of their herd. — Their] 

184 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXI. 10-14. 

^^ They send forth their young- ones like a flock, 

And their children dance. 
^^ They sing to the timbrel and harp, 

And rejoice at the sound of the pipe. 
^^ They "^end^ their days in prosperity. 

And in a moment go down to Sheol. 

so ffi : 1^ his, and so in ^ in reference to the individual wicked 
man : cp. '^^^•. — Showeth no loathing\ or causeth not (the cow) 
to loathe (see phil. n.). 

II. Their children are as free from care as small cattle let 
loose on the pastures. — They send forth their yoking one s\ so i^ 
(in?^'') ; better, because a closer parallel to the intrans. vb. in ^, 
their young ones are sent forth, or let loose (IHTJ''', ^ irpolSaK- 
Xovrai, U egrediuntur). For this idea expressed by the vb. cp. 
Is. 322**. — Like a flock] as little here as in Ps. 114*-^ is the 
point of comparison the miniber of the flock (Du. Bu. Peake) ; 
the point, as in **, is the careless, joyous freedom of the children. 
— Dance\ cp. Ps. 1 14*- ^ — there of animals skipping about in 
terror at the storm (cp. Ps. 29^), here of the dance of joy (cp. 
Ec. 3*). The line is short, and has possibly lost the clause like 
rams (cp. Ps. 1 14*), parallel to like a flock ; if not, the compari- 
son is implicit. 

12-13. The wicked live a merry life (^2), and die an easy 
death (^^). The instruments mentioned in ^^ are (i) the timbrel., 
i.e. the tambourine — an instrument of percussion ; (2) the harp 
or lyre (see Dr. Amos, p. 236 f.) — in any case a stringed 
instrument ; and (3) the pipe (bag-pipe) or flute (ST), or Pan's 
pipe (U) — in any case the term (njiy, 30^^ Gn. 4^1, Ps. 150**) 
probably denotes a wind instrument rather than another 
stringed instrument (fflr in Gn. 4^') : see, further, EBi. s.v. 
Music, (i) and (2) are mentioned together as used for joyous 
music in Gn. 31^'^, Is. 24^, and (together with other instruments) 

Is. 5^'- 

13. End] P? lit. 7t)car out; but see phil. n. — /« a moment] 
and therefore painlessly, not, like Job, lingeringly and painfully; 
or in tranquillitv , see phil. n. 

14 f. All these tokens of God's favour are shown to the 

XXI. 14-16.] JOB 185 

^* Yet they said unto God, ** Depart from us, 

For we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. 

^^ What is the Almighty, that we should serve him ? 

And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him ? " 

^^ Lo, '^is^ not their prosperity in their hand? 
(The counsel of the wicked is far from me.) 

wicked C~^^), in spite of the fact that they had treated God with 
disdain, and lived regardless of Him. 

15. If men prosper, though they disregard God, they 
naturally and cheerfully conclude that nothing is to be gained 
by regarding Him ; the same conclusion is uttered in despair 
at the sight of the prosperous wicked by impatient "servants" 
of God in Mai. 3I* 2^\ 

16. On the text of* followed in the translation, see below: 
5^ reads : Lo, their prosperity is not in their hand. Line ^ 
recurs in 22^^^, and possibly '^ and 22^^* are merely variants, as 
Du. suggests, who considers the v. in place here and out of 
place there. On the other hand, Bu. suspects ^ of having here 
extruded a more exact parallel to *. The line is rhythmically 
more in place in 22^^ (gge phil. n.), if the text there is correct. 

"The V. has been very differently understood: (i) taking the words 
[in J^] as Job's own : their prosperity is not in their own hands to retain 
(but is secured to them by God) : so Di. Del. ; (2) expressing the same 
sense by a change of text : (a) ffi Me. Be. (omitting k*?), Behold, their pros- 
perity is in their hands {i.e. secure) ; (b) Be. (alt.) w'^q for «'? ]n, Du. lihn in, 
(Behold,) is not their prosperity in their hands (i.e. secure)? — Du. continu- 
ing, (Is not) the counsel of the wicked far from Him (i:SO) ? viz. from God 
(who does not concern Himself with their projects: ffir dae^Qv ovk 
i(f>op$) ; (3) making the words an objec/ion, quoted by Job : their prosperity 
is not in their own hands to retain (but may be lost by them at any moment); 
so RVm. (prefixing, Ye saj), Schl. Kamph. Hi. Bu. (i) cannot be said to 
give a natural sense to the Heb. words of ^ : if that sense is thought to be 
required, it is better to change the text (2 a or b); and though the omission 
seems violent, it is, of course, possible that a scribe, finding it said that the 
prosperity of the wicked was in their own hands, inserted k'7, regardless of 
the context, to make the statement more orthodox. (3) gives an excellent 
sense, but there is nothing in the text to indicate that the words are not 
Job's own : however, the same objection might be raised on '^^ (cp. 24'*), 
where the words [in %l] are certainly not Job's. •> will be a protestation, — 
whether in Job's mouth or in that of the objector, — that the speaker does 
not suffer himself to be led into sin by the sight of the prosperity of the un- 

1 86 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXI. 16-19, 

^^ How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out ? 

That their calamity cometh upon them ? 

That cords "^ seize them^ in his anger? 
^^ That they are as stubble before the wind, 

And as chaff that the whirlwind carrieth away ? 
^^ (Ye say), " God layeth up his iniquity for his children." 

Let him recompense it unto himself, that he may know it ! 

godly : it would be more forcible and pointed in Job's mouth (who believes 
in their prosperity : above, i and 2) than in the objector's mouth (who 
realizes that it is precarious ; above, 3)." — Dr. 

17 f. Sometimes, no doubt, calamity befalls the wicked, and 
they perish by an untimely fate : yet not as the friends main- 
tain regularly, but only exceptionally. With i''*- '^ cp. iS^^-^^b 
(Bildad), with ° iS^o-i^, with i^^ Ps. i*, and with is*' 2720 
(? Sophar). — Cords seize thcm\ |^ cords, or less probably 
pains (properly birth-pains) or portions, He distributes: see 
phil. n. 

19. In * Job is either citing from the friends (cp. on 1^), 
in order to reject it in what follows, a plea that the wicked are 
punished in the sufferings of their children ; or, if we read (see 
phil. n.). Let not {God) lay up, etc., he is already in * rejecting 
such a plea. In any case, in 19^-20.21 j^g goes on to urge that 
punishment inflicted on a wicked man's children when the man 
is dead is no justification of God's government ; for, since once 
dead the man is beyond suffering in his own person, and also 
beyond knowing that his children suffer, he, the guilty, entirely 
escapes, they, the innocent, suffer : the plea, therefore, after all 
in no way assists the case of the friends, but rather supports 
Job's position, for it really states a particular illustration of 
what Job is all along maintaining to be the general rule in life, 
viz. that the innocent suffer, the guilty prosper. The friends, 
it is true, have nowhere expressly urged that the children 
suffer instead of the guilty fathers ; in 5* (Eliphaz) 20^° (Sophar) 
the suffering of their children is rather an additional element 
in the punishment of the wicked. But Job has just previously 
challenged the main thesis of the friends, that the wicked are 
themselves regularly overtaken by calamity : what in effect 

XXI. 19-22.] JOB 187 

^'^ Let his own eyes see his "^ calamity \ 

And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty ! 

*^ For what interest hath he in his house after him, 

When the number of his months is finished ? 
^^ Will any teach God knowledge, 

Seeing he judgeth those that are on high ? 

he does here, if in ^^^ he is citing their plea, is to argue that 
if, as a fact, the wicked themselves generally (cp. ^'^^■) escape 
punishment, it is irrelevant whether as a matter of fact 
after their death their children suffer or do not. With this 
criticism of the principle that on account of the solidarity of 
the class or family innocent members of it are legitimate 
objects of punishment due to guilty members (which led to 
such applications of the blood feud as are illustrated in 2 S. 21 
and such sanctions of law as that in Ex. 20^), cp. Ezk. iS^^-, 
Jer. 3i2^'-. — That he may kiww ti] experience, feel it: cp. Is. 9^, 
Hos. 9^ Ezk. 25I*. 

20. f^ unsuitably craft: ** destruction " (EV) is merely a 
conjectural and wrong translation of f^. — Drink] a piquant 
figure for feel the effects of: see, e.g., Is. 51^^. 

21. Interest] j'Dn as 22^. He can have no interest in what 
goes on in his old home, for being dead he knows nothing 
about it (14^^'*: cp. Ec. 9^''). Quite improbable is the view 
(Ew. Del.) that the meaning is: During his lifetime the 
wicked has no interest in what will go on in his home after he 
is dead. 

22. Can any mortal, will you in particular whom I am 
addressing, instruct God (cp. Is. 40^*)? Such a notion is 
absurd. He has the knowledge to judge (cp. 22^^) the in- 
habitants of heaven (cp. 25^ 4^*^ I5^^)> a fortiori He knows all 
about earth and how to govern men. Such is the most 
natural interpretation of the v. taken by itself: the difficulty 
is to relate it satisfactorily to its present position. Job is 
commonly understood to be suggesting that the friends speak 
and act as though they could teach God : so, e.g., Da., "By 
insisting on a doctrine of providence which did not correspond 
to God's providence as actually seen in facts, Job's friends 

1 88 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXI. 22-24. 

2^ One dieth in his very completeness, 

Being- wholly at ease and quiet : 
^* His pails are full of milk, 

And the marrow of his bones is moistened. 

were making themselves wiser than God and becoming His 
teachers." But the friends accept their reading- of the facts of 
life without question ; they never suggest that those facts 
could be better or ought to be other than they are : Job, it is 
true, urges that the friends describe God's action incorrectly 
(cp. 27ff- 24j . but incorrect or even dishonest description of what 
a person does do cannot naturally be regarded as teaching 
that person what he should do. On the other hand. Job, who 
arraigns God's actions and suggests that the facts of life might 
and ought to be other than they are, might not unnaturally 
be asked this question. Accordingly others {e.g: Hi.) have seen 
in V.22 a charge against Job cited (cp. ^''- ^'^) from the friends. 
Unfortunately this suggestion also breaks down, for in what 
follows Job makes no reply to the charge (ct. i"^- i9*'-2i). it is 
possible to translate ^ differently: Will any for (cp. 13'^) God 
teach knowledge? So Ehrlich, who understands the v. to 
mean, can any man on behalf of God explain such facts of 
earthly life as are described in ^^"27 . Qq^j cannot Himself give 
the explanation, being so occupied with the affairs of heaven as 
not to notice what men are doing on earth. Du. translates * 
in the same way and, emending D''01 to n'on, renders ^, Seeing 
that he judges deceit, and sees in the v. an angry protest 
ag-ainst a dogma which takes no account of reality. But these 
explanations also are not convincing, and in its present con- 
text the V. seems to defy explanation. 

23-26. Inequality, difference of fortune in life — ease for 
some, misery for others, but equality, a common fate, in death ; 
then for all alike the dust and the worm. In ^/lis life, if 
justice is to be done, the wicked must suffer (2"^-). 

24. Pails] see phil. n. : EV. breasts like the VV. not un- 
naturally seeks a closer parallel to "bones" in '' ; but for this 
emendation is required. — b. "He is well-nourished and pros- 
perous (cp. Pr. f) "—Dr. Ct. Ps. sa^^). 

XXI. 25-29.] JOB 189 

25 And another dieth with a bitter soul, 

And never tasteth of good. 
2** They He down ahke in the dust, 

And the worm covereth them. 
-■^ Behold, I know your thoughts. 

And the plots (wherewith) ye deal violently against me ; 
28 For ye say, " Where is the house of the noble ? 

And where is the tent wherein the wicked dwelt? " 
2^ Have ye not asked them that go by the way? 

And do ye not regard their tokens ? 

25. A bitter soul\ 3^° n. — Aiid never tasteth of] never through 
life having tasted any £-pod (19^"''), i-e. experienced any good 
fortune or happiness. 

26. Lie down in the dust] 7^2. — b. cp. Is. 14^^''. — The worm] 

27 ff. The arguments of the friends spring from hostility to 
Job (-^), and are based on a false and dishonest description 
of facts (^*) : they argue, wicked men go to ruin ; Job has 
gone to ruin ; Job is wicked ; but the major premiss is false, 
as they must or ought to know : any traveller could tell them 
that wicked men are kept from calamity in life, and after 
death are honoured. 

27 [Wherewith) ye deal violently] "read, perhaps, which 
ye search out, or which ye devise" (Dr.) — see phil. n. 

28. For] or, when ; but in the latter case, 28 is better made 
the conclusion of 27 (Bu.) than a protasis of which 29 jg the 
apodosis (Di.). — Ye say] the questions which follow are not 
cited verbally from the friends, but they correctly summarize 
such passages as 15^* (Eliphaz), 8^^ 18^^-21 (Bildad). — Where?] 

= nowhere : cp. e.g: 4'^ : the houses where once the wicked 
dwelt and seemed to flourish have vanished. 

29. Them that go by the wa\i] travellers : in La. 1^2 2^5, 
Ps. 80^2 89*2^ Pr. gi5 passers-by, with less if any suggestion that 
the persons in question have travelled far. — Tokens] the word 
(nix), commonly rendered "sign," here means typical illustra- 
tions drawn by those travellers from their experience of men 
and life that (^^) wicked men do not come to ruin. 


^^ That the evil man is spared Hn^ the day of calamity? 

That they are f^ delivered inl the day of wrath ? 
•^^ Who doth declare his way to his face ? 

And if he hath done a thing-, who doth repay him ? 
^2 And he is borne to the grave, 

And keepeth watch over the tomb. 
^^ The clods of the valley are sweet unto him, 

And all men draw after him, 

As there were innumerable before him. 

30. In . . . delivered in\ '^/or . . . led along to — impossible 
in the context, and probably (the prepositions at least) due to 
a dogmatic correction of the text: see phil. n. — WratK\ i.e. 
God's wrath : cp. Is. 26^*^. 

31. Wicked men are not only spared by God (v.^^), but are 
also left unrebuked by man. It is more natural to take this v. 
as resuming Job's own description of the wicked than as con- 
tinuing the testimony of the travellers. 

32. Honour and g-ood fortune continue to be the lot of the 
wicked in death : they are buried with pomp (^^a^, provided 
with a (fine) tomb ^'^), and laid in sweet soil (^^*). Job 
imaginatively endows his wicked men with sentiency even in 
death (ct. ^^) : they enjoy the sweetness of their grave, and 
(perhaps) look with satisfaction on the sepulchral monument 
erected in their honour. Not to enjoy such thing's as these, 
does Job demand for himself a moment of sentiency after death 
(19^*^). — Borne\ \cP. — The grave\ a stately g^rave ; see phil, n. 
on 171. — Keepeth watch] the subject may be as in * the wicked 
man regarded as sentient (cp. ^^^), or indef. and men keep 
watch, or a7id watch is kept, i.e. his tomb is carefully guarded, 
and his memory kept alive (ct. iS'^^). 

33. Valley\ properly torrent-valley, wady, if not rather dust ; 
see phil. n. For the valley in which Moses was buried (Dt. 34^), 
to which Hi. appeals as a parallel, a different term (x''j) is used, 
^'•'^have been understood as meaning (i) though he does not 
escape the evil of death, yet in dying he only shares the lot of 
all who ever have been or will be (Del.) ; and for the wicked, 
even death, when it comes, comes sweetly : or (2), the wicked, 

XXI. 33-34.] JOB 1 9 1 

^^ How then comfort ye me with vanity, 

Seeing- that of your answers there remaineth (nought 

but) faithlessness. 

in consequence of the attractiveness of his lot, finds innumer- 
able imitators, as he himself followed the attractive path of 
innumerable wicked men before him (Ew. Di. Da. Dr. Peake). 
It is on the whole probable that whoever wrote ^ intended to 
express one of these two ideas. But is " original, or an addition 
(Du. Be.^)? Certainly, if ^ stood without '', it would most 
naturally be understood of the thronging- procession that followed 
the wicked man to his grave, and in this case the hyperbole in 
"all men "would be more natural than in (2); for Job does 
not hold that all men are wicked. Hi. pertinently cites from 
Burckhardt the Arabic proverb: "The bier of a stranger — no 
man before it or behind it," which might even justify taking ^ 
and ° in this sense, but that the idea comes late after *. It is 
noticeable that at present ^- ° form strange second and third 
lines of a distich to * as a first line : and also that the funeral 
pomp is at present rather briefly expressed in ^-^ : possibly ^^° 
was added by a glossator after ^^^- ^^^, a distich describing 
the funeral pomp, and ^^*- ^^b, a distich describing the feelings 
imaginatively attributed to the wicked after death, had become 

34. Com/orl] ^: 16^. — Wi^k vanity] with unreal assertions 
such as that Job might prosper again, if he would confess and 
turn away from his sins, whereas in reality the beginning and 
condition of prosperity is wickedness. All that the friends say 
is but a dishonest attempt to prove him wicked. 

XXII. The third speech of Eliphaz.— God derives no 
advantage from men, whether they are good or bad ; but men 
themselves derive advantage (viz. prosperity) from being 
righteous (^'•). For, of course, God does not make Job suff'er 
(lof-) because he had been pious (*), but because he had sinned 
manifoldly (^), treating men inhumanly {^-^), and God as of 
no account in human affairs (12-H) • ygj- [^q^^ mistakenly, for 
wicked men in the past, as he does now, had paid dearly for 
their disregard of God (i^-so). Yet, even now, if he would let 

192 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXII. 1-4. 

XXII. 1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, 
^ Can a man be profitable unto God? 

Nay, he that doeth wisely is profitable unto himself. 
^ Is it any interest to the Almighty, that thou art 

righteous ? 
Or gain, that thou makest thy ways perfect? 
* Is it for thy fear (of him) that he reproveth thee, 
That he entereth with thee into judgment? 

God rule his life and abandon unrighteousness, prosperity 
might return to him (^^~^°). 

Eliphaz had already, in his second speech, directly charged 
Job with impious speech concerning God (15*^); but it is a 
new feature, the only new feature, of the third speech, that he 
directly accuses Job of specific sins against men ; in this respect 
Eliphaz is in his last speech most severe in his treatment of 
Job ; and yet he, the kindliest of the friends, closes even this 
speech as he had closed the first (5^'^"^'^), with a picture of the 
felicity that might yet be obtained by Job, and an appeal to 
him to take that course which alone can secure it. 

2-4. God has nothing to gain from men ; therefore Job's 
sufferings cannot be traced to any self-seeking motive in 
God. They must be traced, then, to something in Job ; and, 
since it would be absurd to trace it to his piety, it must be 
traced to sin in him. Such seems to be the argument, but 
certainly " Eliphaz puts his point rather strangely" (Peake). 

2a, 3. Cp. 7^", where Job urges that man's si7i cannot affect 
God : Eliphaz combines both points that neither can man's 
righteousness benefit, nor his sin injure, God (35*''^-). With ^'^ 
cp. 35^, where the effect of man's action is limited to men, but 
not to the particular actor. 

3. Interest^ 21^^ n. : here note the parallel term "gain." 
EV. "pleasure" is misleading: Eliphaz is not denying that 
God may derive pleasure, but that he derives benefit, from 
human righteousness. — b^. Cp. 4*^'', "The perfectness of thy 

4. Thy fear] i.e. thy religion; cp. 4^ (n.) 15*. — Reproveth\ 


XXII. 5-8. J ELIPIIAZ 193 

•'' Is not thy wickedness great? 

Neither is there any end to thine iniquities. 
^ For thou takest pledges of thy brother for nought, 

And strippest the naked of their clothing. 
^ Thou givest not water to the weary to drink. 

And from the hungry thou withholdest bread. 
^ And the man with the arm, he had the land, 

And the man of repute, he dwelt in it. 

5b. Or, the force of the interrogative in * extending to ^ : 
And are not thine iniquities endless? 

6-9. Specific charges (solemnly repudiated in 3 1 i9f- lef. 21^ 
that Job has harshly treated (i) fellow-clansmen fallen into his 
debt (^); (2) the faint and hungry C^); (3) widows and orphans (^). 
The lines, except in ^^, where the pf. appears for variety, are 
frequentatives, indicating Job's constant practice. 

6. Not two charges, but the two parallel lines supplement 
one another : the accusation is not that Job took pledges for 
money lent, nor even merely that he did so for nought, 
i.e. for fictitious or trivial debts, or (cp. 2^ 9^'^) without good 
ground, such as his own necessity ; but that he took clothing 
in pledge, and thereby reduced his debtors to nakedness. To 
lend to a. fellow-Hebrew on interest was altogether forbidden by 
Hebrew law (Ex. 22^'^^^^^); to lend and to take something in 
pledge as security was permitted, but with the proviso that 
such pledges should not involve harsh treatment, such as, e.g., 
depriving a man of his means of living (Dt. 24*^), or of covering 
by night (Ex. 22^^ ^^6)^ Dt. 24^2. lay jt jg of such harsh and 
unconscionable treatment of those to whom he had lent that 
Job is here accused : cp. 24^- ^, Am. 2^, Ezk. 18^^. 

7. Job with all his wealth had withheld food from the needy : 
cp. Mt. 25*2.35^ js^ 58^- i<^. — Weary] or faint from thirst: cp. 
Pr. 25-^, Is. 29^; so of unwatered land, Is. 32^, Ps. 63^. 

8. Oblique references to Job ; ct. the direct address in ^- ^- ^. 
The V. may well be out of place (Sgf. Bu. Peake) ; if not, it 
appears to be a covert charge of harshly dispossessing the 
needy from their land in order to add their estates to his own : 
cp. Is. 5^. — The man with the arm] the man who had power 


1 94 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXII. 8-12. 

^ Thou has sent widows away empty, 

And the arms of the fatherless are crushed. 
^^ Therefore traps are round about thee, 

And sudden terror dismayeth thee. 
" Thy "^ light ^ is darkened that thou seest not, 

And abundance of waters doth cover thee. 
^2 Is not God as lofty as heaven ? 

And behold the ^ stars, how high they are ! 

(cp. 35^), and exercised it regardless of justice or humanity. — 
He had the land . . . he dwelt] or, his is the land[\\z. according 
to thv principles) . . . he should dwell (viz. as thou boldest), 
so Dr.; cp. Di. Rather differently Bu. : "As Job left the 
helpless and poor in the lurch, and even ill-treated them, so on 
the other hand he left all power in the hands of the powerful." 

p. The artns . . . are crushed] i.e. orphans are deprived of 
support: for the fig. cp. Ps. 37^^ "the arms of the wicked 
are broken, but Yahweh supporteth the righteous " ; for arm 
used figuratively, see ^ 35^, Ps. 83^^^^ "they have become an 
arm [i.e. have given help, support) to the children of Lot." 

lOa. The fig. used by Bildad (iS^'i") for calamity closing in 
on the wicked in general, Eliphaz here applies directly to Job ; 
so in 11^ Bildad's figure in iS^.— Traps] I89^— b. Cp. I8ll^ 

Iia. Cp. 18^ (Bildad). 1^, Or seest thou not the darkness? 
and this is understood to mean : Dost thou not even yet under- 
stand the meaning of the darkness, i.e. the calamities, in which 
you are involved on account of your sin? (so Di. Da.), f^ is 
no more probable if (cp. EV.) taken as a second subj. to the 
vb. in ^^'', Or darkness (dismayeth thee) that thou seest not. — 
b. For waters or floods as a fig. of calamity, see 11^^ (Sophar) n. 
The line recurs in 38^^, where the waters are literal. 

12. The belief in God's transcendence or, as the Hebrews 
expressed it concretely, the belief that God dwelt in heaven, 
led in different minds to different conclusions; (i) the pious 
concluded : from such a lofty vantage ground God sees every- 
thing that men do on earth, Ps. 14^ 33^3*- ; but (2) the impious 
drew the opposite conclusion : God, being so far withdrawn 
from men, neither sees nor takes account of what they do: so 

XXII. 12-14.] ELIPHAZ 1 95 

!•* And thou sayest, " What doth God know? 

Can he judg"e through the thick darkness? 
!■* Thick clouds are a covering- to him, that he seeth not ; 

And he walketh on the vault of heaven." 

Ps. ID*'-. The second of these conclusions is here attributed 
to Job by Eliphaz in i3-i8_ Jt is commonly supposed that 
Eliphaz in ^^ is indicating the first as his own. Yet it is 
curious that all he actually does in ^^ js to emphasize the 
common starting-point of the two opposite conclusions : he 
certainly does not express the conclusion he himself would draw 
from it. Du., therefore, omits this v. as a marginal citation to 
i3f- Job's erroneous conclusion (i^^-) is challenged by an appeal 
to history as Eliphaz read it : the untimely death of wicked 
men i^^^-) is proof that God does judge men in spite of His 
transcendence. If '^'^^- are in place, Eliphaz seeks still further 
to discredit Job's conclusion by the statement that it was 
wicked men who held it. — As lofty as heaven\ cp. 1 1^ (Sophar). 
— The stars\ ^ the head of the stars, which has been explained, 
precariously, as meaning the highest stars : judge how high is 
God's abode by looking at the highest point of heaven. Or, 
changing the punctuation, we may render. And He (God) 
beholds the top of the stars ; but this too is strange and im- 
probable, and, if it were right, would enhance the difficulty of 
the connection of ^^ with i^^- : for to say that God sees the top 
of the stars, i.e. presumably the side turned away from earth, 
v/ould in no way invalidate the conclusion attributed to Job, that 
God does not see what goes on far below the stars. See phil. n. 

13. And thou sayest\ in what follows Eliphaz attributes to 
Job more than and other than he had said in c. 21 ; Job's point 
was not that God could not see or judge what went on on 
earth : but that as a matter of fact He allowed the wicked to 
prosper. So, if 21^2 is original, Job says indeed that God does 
judge the inhabitants of heaven, but not that He coiddnot, if He 
would, judge the inhabitants of earth as well. "Job observes 
reality, Eliphaz is always theologizing and assumes that Job does 
so too" (Du.). — Thro2igli\ (looking) out through: Lex. 126a. 

14. On the vault] above the clouds (cp. ^) : see phil. n. 

196 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXII. 15-18. 

'5 Wilt thou keep the old way 

Which wicked men did tread? 
^^ Who were snatched away before their time, 

Whose foundation was poured out as a stream : 

" Who said unto God, " Depart from us " ; 

And, "What can the Almighty do to "'us''"? 
*8 Yet he filled their houses with good things : 

But the counsel of the wicked is far from me ! 

15 f. Either: wilt thou persist in that unbelief in God's 
judgment which wicked men from the earliest times down to 
the present have cherished, and like them perish untimely? 
Or, with specific reference to some event of ancient days, 
whether the Deluge (so most), or, since ^'^^ does not fit the 
Deluge story, some other (Ew. Du. Peake) : wilt thou perish 
in unbelief like that of the men in the well-known ancient 
story who refused to believe that God's judgment was com- 
ing, but perished by it none the less ? Do you want to 
follow that ancient path that led then and will lead now to 
destruction ? 

15. Keep the . . . way] continue to walk in the way : cp. 
Ps. i822, Pr. 2^^.— The old -way] cp. "the (good) old paths," 
Jer. 6^^. In such phrases old (nhj?) may imply existing formerly 
and also now {e.g. " the old, or everlasting, hills "), or, existing 
formerly, but no longer now {e.g. "the days of old"). Here, 
if the allusion is to a specific past generation of men, it would 
naturally be used in the second sense, but "wilt thou keep" 
implies that it has the first, which it would naturally have, if 
the allusion is general and not specific. 

l6b. Fig. as 4^^ : whose life was ruined from its founda- 
tions : or, literally, the foundations of whose houses were 
carried away by the Deluge. 

17, 18. 1'^ = 2ii*^ ^, cp. 2ii5^ ; 18% cp. 21I6'* ; 18^ = 2ii6b. An 
elaborate retort in Job's own words to Job's assertion that 
those who dismissed God from their lives prospered : on the 
contrary, Eliphaz asserts, it is those who come to ruin who 
have dismissed God. Such a retort in itself is not unnatural 
or improbable ; but these verses are open to suspicion of being 
secondary : for (i) the purpose of such a retort has already been 

XXII. 18-22.] ELIPHAZ 197 

w The righteous ''saw'' it, and were glad: 

And the innocent laugh them to scorn : 
20 (Saying), "Surely "^ their substance^ is cut off, 

And their affluence the fire hath devoured." 
2i Accustom, now, thyself to him, and be at peace : 

Thereby will thine increase be good. 
22 Receive, I pray thee, direction from his mouth, 

And lay up his words in thine heart. 

attained in 13-16 j (2) i'^^- interrupt the connection between the 
picture of judgment on the wicked in ^^^- and the emotion and 
comment of the righteous called forth by it C-^^-). Accordingly 
Bu. Du. Peake omit ^"^- ; Me. Sgf. omit i^ only. — To i<s] ]Ll to 
them: but see phil. n. 

19. The past tenses (see phil. n.) are likely to be right if 
the allusion in ^5^- is to a specific event (see on ^^'•) ; but if the 
reference there is general, the frequentatives of |^ should be re- 
tained here : the righteous see the fate which habitually befalls 
the wicked and are glad. The frequentatives would make the 
v. as a retort to 17^ (Bu.) more pointed, but see on 17^. 
With % cp. Ps. io742_ 

20. Their substance is\ so : p,| is supposed to mean those 
that rose up against tis'. but see phil. n. — Their affluence\ D^n"" : 
so Ps. 17^*, cp. mn\ Is. 15'^. "The remnant of them " (EV.) is 
not a preferable rendering, even if f^ in * is retained. — Thefire\ 
153* n. 

21-30. There is still hope of happiness and prosperity for 
Job if he but leaves the way of the wicked and returns to God. 
This conclusion resembles that of Eliphaz's first speech, and 
contrasts with the dark close of the second speech. 

21. If you will but acquiese in His dealings with you, you 
will find yourself at peace with Him, and your life prosperous. 
On ^, see phil. n. 

22. Direction'] niin || words (V"ins) : cp. Is. 52* (|| niON), i^" 
(II im). Cp. also the use of the term of human directions or 
instructions (e.g. Pr. 1^ 7'"). The words of God that are to 
direct Job aright are given in 23ff- ; Eliphaz is the mediator of a 
divine revelation: cp. 4^28. ^27 j^ii^ 

198 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXII. 23-29. 

-2 If thou return to the Almighty, ■" and humble thyself^ ; 

If thou put away unrighteousness far from thy tents ; 
'* And lay gold-ore in the dust, 

And (gold of) Ophir among the rocks of the wadys ; 
25 Then will the Almighty be thy gold-ore, 

And '^his direction^ will be silver unto thee; 
-^ For then thou wilt delight thyself in the Almighty, 

And lift up thy face unto God. 
2'^ Thou wilt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear thee ; 

And thy vows thou wilt perform, 

28 Thou wilt also decree a thing, and it will be established unto 

And light shall shine upon thy ways. 

29 For rGod"" abase'^th"' pride. 

But him that is lowly of eyes he saveth. 

23. And humble thyself]^ |^ thou shall be built up\ but see 
phil. n. 

24. Let Job no more place his confidence in gold (31-*), 
but rather throw it away as worthless. — Gold of Ophir\ climactic 
after gold-ore : cp, 28^^. On identifications of the land of Ophir 
whence this highly-prized gold came, see EBi. and DB^ s.v. 

25. Possibly Eliphaz speaks with a recollection of the mean- 
ing of his own name, my God is fine gold : Job will have the 
same enjoyment of God as Eliphaz has. — And his direction •will 
be silver] RV. "and precious silver" (as a second predicate 
to the "Almighty" in ") — a conjectural rendering of ^: see 
phil. n. Direction as v.^^; for the sentiment, cp. Ps. 19^1. 

26. With ^ cp. 2710% Is. 581*; with ^ cp. 27^0^.— Zz/? up thy 
face] in confidence, to see Him and to show Him a face free 
from trace of shame and guilt : cp. ii^^: ct. lo^^. 

27b. is parallel to the second half of 27a ; job will have 
occasion to pay his vows, because God will have granted the 
prayer for the fulfilment of which the vows were promised. 

28b. Ct. v."^ 

29a. %} is unintelligible and cannot bear the meaning, even 
if that were suitable, placed upon it in RV. See phil. n. 


^^ He delivereth the innocent "^man^, 

And "^thou shalt^ be delivered throug-h the cleanness of 

thy hands. 

30. The metrically questionable and otherwise very improb- 
able text of ft] reads : He delivereth him that is not innocent, 
and he is delivered, through the cleanness of thy hands : this 
has been understood to mean that God, on account of Job's 
innocence, delivers the guilty ; it would then be an unconscious 
anticipation on the part of Eliphaz of what happens subsequently 
to himself (42^). Even as emended, the text (on other emenda- 
tions see phil. n.) is not a very forcibly expressed conclusion 
to the speech. 

XXIII., XXIV. Job's reply to Eliphaz's third speech. 
— Unlike any of the previous replies (but cp. cc. 3, 29—31), this 
speech contains no direct address to the friends : the whole 
might be monologue. The speech falls into two main divisions 
corresponding to the two chapters: (i) c. 23 — the riddle pre- 
sented by God's treatment of Job ; (2) c. 24 — by His treatment 
of men generally. Partly on the ground of form, partly on the 
ground of substance, much or all (except the last v.) of c. 24 
has been regarded as added to, or substituted for a part of, the 
original text. But that Job should, as in his previous speech 
(c. 21), carry his consideration of the riddle beyond its purely 
personal reference is likely enough, and 24^^ forms, as is in- 
deed admitted by most, an altogether probable ending for a 
speech of Job. The exceedingly corrupt state of the text com- 
plicates decision on the critical problem: see further on c. 24. 
Assuming c. 24 to be in the main genuine, the speech may be 
summarized briefly thus : Job, suffering still (23^), still longs to 
find God and argue his case with Him {^~'^) ; but he cannot do 
so (^'•) : could he, he is certain what the issue would be, for 
God really knows as well as Job himself Job's steadfast 
adherence to the right {^'^~^^). Yet since, in spite of this, God 
is evidently bent on carrying through His harsh treatment of 
him, there is no escape for Job (for what God wills. He does), 
but only dismay and darkness (^^^^'^). The same disregard of 
right by God which Job feels in his own case, he perceives in 


XXIII. 1 And Job answered and said, 

2 Even to-day is my complaint f^ bitter^; 
•^His^ hand is heavy upon my groaning. 

others {^^^) ; so that his question is more than personal ; it is 
not merely, Why must I suffer ? but. Why do so many victims 
of wickedness suffer, God remaining all the time indifferent 
and inactive (24^) ? For the wicked pursue their nefarious 
practices (2-^), their victims suffer (^"^^), and God takes no 
account (^2°). Three classes of those who shun the light 
are described {^^~^''). Vv.i^"^* are through textual corruption 
altogether obscure or ambiguous, but in part they apparently 
describe the fate of the wicked as unhappy (^^"2''), in part (2if- ''24^ 
as happy. In the concluding v. (2^) Job insists that his descrip- 
tions have been true to facts. In all this Job makes no direct 
reference to what Eliphaz had just said ; but indirectly he 
traverses his two main points : against Eliphaz's accusations 
(22^^-), he insists on his innocence and integrity (23'^- 10-12^ ; 
against Eliphaz's closing appeal to him to return to God, 
he expresses his longing to find God ; but God is not to be 

2. Evefi to-da\'\ or to-day also ; this seems to imply that the 
debate lasted more than one day, and suggests that Eliphaz's 
third speech marked the beginning of the third day's discussion; 
and that this v. is thus Job's first remark on the day in question. 
On emendations suggested to avoid this implication, see phil. n, 
— Complaint\ 21* n. ; complaint, i.e. complaining, is here closely 
associated with acute suffering ; note the parallel " groaning " 
and cp. 7^^. Job's sufferings still draw from him bitter com- 
plaining and groans. — Bitter\ cp. y^^ ; "^ defiant, which would 
mean that Job is as little inclined as ever to admit that God was 
dealing justly with him, and as little likely as ever to satisfy 
Eliphaz: see phil. n. — His hand (y as 19^1, cp. ei3, x-^^^) is heav}^ 
cp. Ps. 32*, I S. 5*^; in spite of Job's groaning (32*) under 
sufferings already inflicted, God afflicts him still; so (&S. 
f^ has mv hajid, which is supposed to mean : I do my best to 
check my groaning, but in vain: see phil. n. ; on AV. "my 
stroke is heavier than my groaning," see also Da. 

XXIII. 3-6.] JOB 20 1 

2 Oh that I knew where I might find him, 

That I might come even to his tribunal ! 
* I would set out my case before him, 

And fill my mouth with arguments. 
^ I would know the words which he would answer me, 

And understand what he would say unto me. 
^ Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? 

Nay : but he would give heed unto me. 

3-5. Why tell me to return to God (22^3)? If only I knew 
where or how to reach Him ! That I do not is ground enough 
in itself for continued complaining. If Job could but reach God, 
how gladly (cp. 13^*^) would he state his own case, and (^) hear 
God's reply to it. On the cohortatives in *^-, see G— K. 108/". 

4a. Cp. 13^^. — Arguments^ 13^: the vb. 13^. 

6f. If only Job could reach God and argue his case before 
Him, right, not might, would decide, and Job's innocence would 
for ever be established. Job's attitude has changed since c. 9 : 
there {^- ^'*"2°- ^2'-) he is possessed by the thought that, even if 
he could stand before God, God's might would deflect his right, 
that God would browbeat and terrify him into making himself 
out to be guilty; though even there (^*^-, cp. also 1320-22^ ^g jg 
sure enough that, if God would only abstain from exercising 
His might to terrify, he could establish his right. In some 
measure 13^^ anticipates the present passage; and even here 
he has no confidence that he will reach God (quite the reverse, 
^~i^), and is still convinced that, unheard by God, he must 
become the victim of His might (i^'^t^). Bu., with slight 
emendations, reads : Behold, in the greatness of His power 
He might contend with me. If only He [Himself] would give 
heed to me: in this case Job is reducing his conditions to a 
minimum : he is now ready to face even God's might, if God 
will but attend to him. 

6. He\ the exact force of the emphasis has been diff'erently 
understood: ^^ He, being what He is" (Dr.); "God Himself, 
and not merely a man" (Di.) ; "He whom I now know as 
Him who is always on the side of right" (13^'' 19^^) — 

202 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXIII. 7-10. 

"^ There would an upright man be arguing' with him ; 
And I should be delivered for ever from my judge. 

' Behold I go forward, but he is not (there) ; 
And backward, but I perceive him not ; 
•" I seek him "" on the left hand, but I behold him not ; 
■" I "" turn to the rig-ht hand, but I do not see him. 

10 For he knoweth the way that I take, 

If he trieth me, I shall come forth as gold. 

7. An upright Tnan\ || I=Job the upright (i'); the line is 
not a general statement (RV.), but a statement of what would 
take place if Job could find God. 

8f. But Job cannot find God, even with the most persistent 
seeking. The vv. explicate what is implicit in ^, and interrupt 
the close connection between '' and ^^, and are, perhaps, as Bu. 
Sgf. Du. conclude, an addition to the original text, ffir omits ^ 
only. The vv. resemble, without however expressing quite 
the same thought as, 9^^*-, Ps. 139^- ""^o. — Forward . . . back- 
ward . . . left hand . . . right hand\ or, east . . . west . . . 
north . . . so2ith. — Perceive him not . . . do not see hif?i] cp. 
gii : in parallellism with these, he is not in ^^ means of course : 
he is not to be found by me. — I seek hi7n\ ft^ where he works, in 
which Del. detects an allusion to the belief that the North is 
the unfinished part of the world. But that, or where, God works, 
is not the point of the passage. — / turn] |^ he turns. RV. 
" He hideth himself," giving to |1^ a meaning possible in itself 
(see phil. n), but unsuitable: "for what is there remarkable in 
one not seeing one who hides himself" (Schult.). 

10. For\ If ^^- are an addition, ^""^^ originally gave the reason 
for Job's confidence that he would establish his case, if ever he 
could come before God : this confidence arises from the fact 
that his conduct has been right, and he himself true, and that 
God knows, or i^T.) would come to know, this. If '=^- are 
original, 1° must state ''the reason why God will not let Him- 
self be found by Job : He knows that he is innocent (^°"i^), but 
yet will not be diverted (i^- 1*) from his hostility towards Him " 
(Dr.). But in this case the real reason lies in ^^^•, and ^^"^2 ^re 
virtually concessive : for, though He knows I am innocent. He 
will not abandon His purpose to treat me as guilty. Rendering 

XXIII. 10-14.] JOB 203 

" My foot hath held fast to his steps ; 

His way have I kept, and turned not aside. 

12 The commandment of his lips — I never seceded (from it) ; 

I have treasured up ""in^ my bosom the words of his 


13 But he ""hath chosen ^ and who can turn him back? 

And his soul desireth (a thing), and he doeth it. 
1* For he completeth that which is appointed for me : 
And many such things are in his mind. 

"•3 hy but (so RV.) instead oifor, Peake explains the connection 
thus : in spite of God's self-concealment (s^-), He still closely 
watches Job's ways ; but if this had been the point, we should 
have expected ^^- to have expressed not Job's fruitless efforts 
to find God, but God's successful measures to hide Himself 
from Job ; the latter point is, however, not put at all, not even 
in ^^ when correctly read and interpreted. 

lOb. Cp. Ps. 173, and with steps in "^, Ps. 17^. 

12b. Cp. Ps. 119I1. Job had done what Eliphaz exhorts 
him to do (22^2). — 171 my bosom] so (5: cp. "in my heart," 
Ps. 119I1. 5^ froi?t, or more than, my law, which has been 
strangely regarded as anticipating the thought of Ro. 7-^. 

13-17. But in spite of his steadfastness in the right. Job 
recognizes that God remains immovable from His determina- 
tion to treat him harshly. 

13. Cp. 912, — ffg jidiji chosen] on 1^, paraphrased in RV., 
"He is in one mind," see phil. n. 

14. The V. appears to contain the application of the general 
truth, that what God wills. He does (is), to ^ Job's destiny, 
^ the destiny of like sufferers — the theme developed in c. 24 ; 
it is obvious that in fact Job is suffering though righteous : 
this must be because God wills it and prescribes suffering for 
Job ; and He will go on undeterred till the full tale of Job's 
suffering has been exacted ; and the same morally inexplicable 
course He intends to pursue with others : they are and will be 
righteous ; but God allows, and will allow, them to suffer. But 
it is curious (i) that this application of ^^ is expressed in the 
form of a reason for it— for He completeth ; and (2) that what 


15 Therefore am I dismayed at his presence; 

When I consider, I am afraid of him. 

16 For God hath made my heart faint, 

And the Almighty hath dismayed me ; 
1'^ Because I am not undone because of the darkness, 

Or because of my own face which thick darkness covereth. 

God appoints for Job, viz. that he shall suffer to the last, is 
not more explicity put ; (i) is not very satisfactorily avoided by 
residing t/it/s (Bu.) for /or; and ^^ would be still less adequately 
prepared for by ^^ (which even less explicitly asserts that Job's 
suffering's will continue), if with (S i* were omitted, or with Du. 
transferred to follow i^. It is, however, not improbable that i* 
was originally difTerently expressed. — Completet]i\ makes the 
realization fully correspond to the intent: cp. Is. 44^^. — Thai 
which is appointed for me] viz. my disease hastening on to 
death : cp. 7^ g^^ etc. The same Hebrew word (pn) with 
different nuances occurs in 14^ (see phil. n.) i^ 38'^^. With a 
mere change of punctuation, ^ may be rendered : And so (are, 
or turn out), such is the result of, processes at law with him (so 

15, 16. God alone is the cause of Job's fear : the emphatic 
words are at his presence i^xl. face\ God, the Almighty. 

17. ^?> translated as above, is taken to be the negative 
aspect of what has been said in i^^- : God, i.e. God in the 
mysterious, inexplicable ways of His providence (}^^'), not 
calamity in itself (i'^^), or 1^) his face disfigured (ig^^ff-) by his 
calamities, is the cause of Job's being overwhelmed : so Di. 
Da. Dr. (in Book of Job). But this is scarcely less improbable 
than an earlier explanation of "^ embodied in AV. : God dis- 
mays Job, because Job was not allowed to die before calamity 
came upon him. Under these circumstances most recent 
commentators have felt driven to emendation, and to read : 
Because I am undone because of the darkness, And because 
thick darkness hath covered my face : God dismays Job, be- 
cause he cannot see the meaning- of what He does. 

XXIV. With the exception of '^^, the whole or a large part 
of this c. has been regarded by many as interpolated. The 

XXIV.] JOB 205 

grounds alleged are (i) the difference in poetical form ; (2) the 
unsuitability of tlie contents to the context. 

(i) The poetical form.— ^Ic, rejecting '•'"-■•, claimed that this section con- 
sisted of two sets of six tristichs, each preceded by a distich, the distichs 
being » and ", the first set of tristichs i"*-- ", ", ", ", 1*, '«, the second ", »» 
(a line being assumed to have been lost), -", 21. 22a^ 22b. 23^ 24_ gj^^ rejecting 
5-8. 10-24^ regarded the remainder, together with 30^''', as a series of tristichs 
as follows : 24^ "• S ^- «, '• »«% » 30^ *"• *, "• '% '"• \ 24'»''- ", ^\ '\ '\ >», '\ " 
(with three words added), ^^, ^* (with two words added), -" (with one word 
added), ^i- =2* (altered), ■■^^- -^ (altered), ^\ Du., rejecting i---», regards these 
vv. as consisting of four poems ^■\ '-'^ ( + 30'"'), '^-'^ ^^^-^, all written 
exclusively in tristichs. He divides this c. into the following tristichs : ^ 
(with two words added: see phil. n.), ^-^ ^b. 4^ sa. b. c^ od. 6^ 8. m lOb. 11^ 12^ 
13^ i4_ 16^ 16^ 17. i8a^ 18b. 19^ 20^ 21b. 22a (20-2.;a y^y^^h altered). Du. omits ^ », 18c^ 
and makes many changes (mostly noted in the phil. nn.) in the rest of the 
c. It will be seen that Me. Bi. Du. agree in detecting here tristichs to the 
entire (Bi. Du.), or almost entire (Me.), exclusion of distichs ; though they 
are not altogether agreed as to the constituent elements of some of the 
tristichs. If there were actually anything like so great a number of 
tristichs as even Me. claims, there would undoubtedly be a strong argument 
from form against this section, for the book of Job consists almost ex- 
clusively of distichs with tristichs occurring at most as very infrequent 
variations. But there is not : some details of form are discussed in the 
notes : here it may suffice to point out how illegitimately in some, how 
precariously in other instances, the appearance of tristichs is obtained : 
Du. divides the obvious parallel lines 3*- "^ from one another to give to three 
distichs the appearance of two tristichs ; in ^ he expands two lines (one 
overlong) into three by the conjectural addition of two words ; thus in i"* 
he constructs three tristichs out of an existing text that shows no trace 
even of one. Me. Bi. Du. agree in finding five consecutive tristichs in ^^'^^, 
and here the existing text (cp. RV.) lends them support ; yet the reasons 
for transposing ^^^ to follow ^^'^ are very strong ; and if the transposition is 
made, even in this part of the chapter distichs at least intermingle with 
tristichs. In '^'^^ the text is so corrupt that emendation is justified, not to 
say imperative ; but for that very reason from conjecturally constructed 
tristichs in this part of the c. no conclusion can safely be drawn that 
tristichs were exclusively used in the first part of it. The/orTwa/ argument 
that c. 24 is mainly an interpolation cannot therefore be maintained. 

(2) The nature of the context. — Though the frequent corruptions of 
the text, especially in ^^"-^, render interpretation in detail extremely uncer- 
tain, the chapter clearly has a certain character of its own : Me. finds in 
^■"^ a characterization of the way of the world in a series of short popular 
character sketches presented without pasji !g any moral judgment on the 
classes described ; and Bi. finds the miserable inhabitants of the desert, 
who are described, neither bad enough to serve as examples of sinners 
that escape punishment, nor good enough to be a type of good men 
wronged ; vv.^'^* ^"'^^ seem to him " a libro quodam gnomico de cursu vitae 
desumpti." Du., with less probability, detects an eschatological element 

206 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXIV. 1-2. 

XXIV. 1 Why are times not laid up by the Almii^^^hty ? 

And why do not they who know him see his days? 
2 ^ Wicked men "" remove land-marks ; 

They violently take away flocks, and feed them. 

in ^■*. Hoffm. places ^^'"^^ after 25" as part of Bildad's speech. The nature 
of the contents is, to a large extent, rightly characterized by Me. and Bi., 
but it does not necessarily follow that c. 24 is an inappropriate continuation 
of c. 23 ; and to Bu. it appears precisely what we ought to expect. In any 
case, the c. is certainly not throughout a mere cool and unconcerned 
description of life, in which case it would certainly differ greatly in tone 
and temper from other speeches of Job ; for not only ^, but also i-"^, reflect 
the feeling of the writer, that the facts of life present moral anomalies and 
raise the question of the moral government of God — in other words, the 
feeling that constantly underlies and finds expression in Job's speeches. 

The passages most open to suspicion of interpolation are 
(i) the very objective description of the " night-birds," ^^-i?^ 
which also, even in the original text, perhaps contained an 
unusual proportion of tristichs, and (2) those parts of 1^-2* 
which refer to the swift doom descending on the wicked. 

1. On the connection with c. 23, see the introductory nn. to 
c. 23 and to this c. Why does God not appoint for Himself 
set times at which to judge men, measuring out punishment to 
wrong-doers, and rescuing the wronged from the violence done 
to them by their fellow-men ? Why do not men see (ct. 22^^ — 
Eliphaz) God thus judicially active ? The questions are wider 
than in 21'^: attention is turned now not only on the wicked, 
but on their victims. — Times . . . daj's] the parallelism is not 
favourable to Du.'s substitution for days of day, i.e. the day of 
Yahweh (eschatological). — Laid up\ the same vb. as in 15^° 
21^^. — They who know hini\ not specifically those who know of 
God's future judgment (Du.) ; but, in general, the righteous; 
cp. "him that knoweth not God" (|| to the unrighteous, hy) in 
i82i ; cp. also Ps. 36^^. Or, possibly, the term here is due to 
corruption ; in what follows the wronged are not depicted 
under the aspect of those that know God ; the connection with 
what follows would be easier if some such term as the wicked, 
or the oppressed, were substituted. 

2, 3, 9, 4. — The violent and their victims. 

2. Wicked men\ see phil. n. — Reftiove land-marks\ the bound- 

XXIV. 2-5.] JOB 207 

'^ They drive away the ass of the fatherless, 
They take the widow's ox for a pledi,'-e. 

* They pluck the fatherless from the breast, 

And take in pledge '^ the infant ^ of the poor. 

* They turn the needy aside from the way, 

All together the poor of the earth hide themselves. 

^ Behold as wild asses in the wilderness, 

They go forth '' to ' their work, seeking diligently for 

The steppe (provideth) ^ food for the(ir) children. 

aries between their own land and their neighbours', in order to 
incorporate their neighbours' land in their own: cp. Dt. 19^* 
27^'', Pr. 23^<>. — And feed theni\ ffi wiih their shepherd: see 
phil. n. 

3. The most helpless classes are spoiled of their means of 
livelihood : cp. 22*'- ^. 

9. The V. is certainly out of place between ^ and 10 : if not 
a gloss, it may have stood here: see phil. n. — The infant of 
the poor] iiH over, or upon, the poor: but see phil. n. 

4. The exact point of ^ has been differently taken : they 
hinder the poor of their just rights (Da., cp. Am. 512) ; they 
thrust the poor out of the public way, where every one has a 
right to walk (Di.), or where the sight of them displeases the 
high-handed wicked (Du.) : they violently get rid of the poor 
when these run after them begging for restoration of what has 
been plundered from them (Hi.). 

5-8. Description of certain miserable starvelings of the 
steppes, whose search yields them little food and no shelter : 
cp. 30^-^. Here there is no allusion to the authors of the 
misery: ct. ^-* and even i"'-. 

5. The text is corrupt and the meaning in detail uncertain 
(see phil. n.): but probably "wilderness" and "steppe" were 
originally parallel terms (cp. Is. 40' 41^^), both describing not, 
as part of the fig. (Bu.), the home of the wild ass (6^ 1 1^^ 395*^-), 
but the country remote from men and cities where this pitiable 
set of human beings, not naturally adapted to it like the wild 

208 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXIV. 5-11. 

•^ The mixed fodder (of cattle) they reap in the field ; 

And they take away the late-ripe fruit from the vineyard 

of the rich. 
"^ They pass the night naked without clothing-, 

And have no covering in the cold. 
^ They are wet with the rain of the mountains, 

And for want of shelter they embrace the rock. 

'" (Others) go about naked without clothing-, 

And being an-hungered they carry the sheaves ; 
'' Between ^ the ^ rows (of olive trees) they make oil ; 

They tread the wine-vats, and suffer thirst. 

asses (39^'^ n.), eke out their existence. — Food for the children] 
children (any:) as 29-'* (n.); connecting "the steppe" with ^, 
many read for °: there is no food for the children, or (Du.), in 
this case better, for those shaken (out of the land). 

6. Again the text is uncertain ; but the meaning in general 
seems to be : even if they (stealthily) issue from the steppe 
into the cultivated land, they only secure poor and scanty food 
from the fields and vineyards. For details, see phil. nn. — The 
mixed fodder, etc.] cp. 6^ n. Read, perhaps, iti the night. — 
The late-ripe fruit] the few grapes left to ripen on the vines : 
these they pilfer from the vineyards, now less carefully guarded 
than when the main crop was ripe and ready for picking. — The 
rich] ^, the wicked, which has been understood to refer to 
those who have driven the starvelings into the steppe (Di.), or, 
assuming that not starvelings but plundering Bedawin are 
described, to the agriculturalist who has broken covenant with 
the Bedawin by refusing to pay the covenanted blackmail 

8. J^ain] the heavy rain (dit) of the winter storms : cp. Is. 
25* 30^*^. — Embrace] cp. La. 4^. 

9. See after w.^. 

10. II. Slaves, or ill-paid, hard-worked, weary labourers 
(72 14^), not allowed by these masters to still their pangs of 
hunger and thirst with any grains from the sheaves which all 
day long they cany, or the juice of the grapes which they tread 

XXIV. 11-13.J JOB 209 

12 From out of the city the dying groan, 

And the soul of the wounded crieth out for help ; 
Yet God regardeth not the folly. 

13 Those are of them that rebel against the light ; 

That know not the ways thereof, 
Nor abide in the paths thereof. 

out. The ill-treatment by the masters, violating the spirit of 
the law of Dt. 25*, is at least suggested : the scene has shifted 
back from the steppe p"^) to the farms and the vineyards. 
10a. ua ^j-g probably out of place or corrupt : ^^^- ^^ are parallels : 
see phil. n. 

Iia. T/ie] '^ their, paraphrased by "the . . . of these men" 
in EV. — Roi!i3s\ the meaning walls (EV. al.) is unsupported : 
see phil. n. 

12. From the steppe (^"S) and the cultivated country side 
(^^'•), the description here passes, if the text is correct, to 
human suffering in the towns ; in any case ^^-n probably con- 
template town-life. But in 12 there is nothing distinctive of 
town-life : men die everywhere and may be wounded anywhere. 
Bu. therefore places 12 after ^'^^^ as describing the result of the 
murderer's activity ; but this overloads the description of the 
murderer as compared with those of the adulterer and thief, 
and "out of the city" would be rather pointless. Others 
emend (see phil. n.), following ffi, which already, with no very 
different text, expressed quite a different sense : ** Out of the 
city, out of (their) houses they are driven forth. And the soul 
of the children crieth out for help." — The city the dying\ fjt : 
the city of men. — c. Or, emending. Yet God heareth not their 
prayer. On folly, see i^^. 

13-17- Three classes of the enemies of light (i^) and lovers 
of darkness (le^-c 17) ; the murderer (i4a-b)^ ^^^ adulterer (is), and 
the thief (i*°- i6a)_violators of the 6th, 7th, and 8th command- 
ments. For the emendation in and the transposition of 1*°, 
see phil. n. 

13- Those'] now to be mentioned — an unusual use of the 
pron. — Are of] are, or have become, among the number of: 


1^ ^ Before ^ the light the murderer riseth, 
That he may kill the poor and needy. 
15 And the eye of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, 
Saying-, No eye shall see me : 
And he putteth on a covering for his face, 
i^** And in the night the thief '' goeth about ^, 
^'^^ He diggeth into houses in the dark. 

2 iTTl as in Jg. 1 1^^. — Them that rebel against the lighi\ a striking 
phrase, which in another connection might well be explained 
as a mythological allusion (Di.); but before ^^"^^ the light in 
question must be daylight, not the good principle. Certainly 
1^ attaches loosely to what precedes : on the other hand it forms 
a good introduction to ^^~^^ with ^^^^^ ^"^ as a corresponding 
conclusion ; it is therefore precarious to omit the v. (Stud, 
cp. Di.), or to separate it from i*^- (Grill, who retains ^- *• ^^^^- ^^fl- 
as the genuine parts of the c). With ^, ct. i'^^. 

14. Before the light] |^ at the light, i.e. when it is light, 
which is inconsistent with the context : together with '^ in '^^^ 
it would imply that the same persons murder by day and thieve 
by night (Del.). With ^, cp. Ps. lo^^- and see phil. n. Line ° 
(placed above after v.^^: see phil. n. on i^) in |^ reads, And by 
night let hitti be like a thief! f^ in * could only be retained if mN 
had already developed its later (Mishnic) meaning of evening, 
night (see, e.g., Pes. i^: NHWB, s.v. lis). 

15. Cp. Pr. 7^. If ° is in place, the adulterer makes him- 
self doubly secure against detection : he waits till it is dark, 
and even then covers his face with his mantle, or disguises 
himself as a woman with a woman's veil (Wetzstein in Del.). 

l6a describes the activity not of the adulterer (as in ^), 
but of the thief (see phil. n.) whose practice was to dig through 
(Ex. 22^, Jer. 2^*, Mt. 6^^) the clay walls of houses and steal, 
avoiding, probably from superstitious motives, any attempt to 
force an entrance by the door (Trumbull, The Threshold Covenant, 
p. 260 f.). That an adulterer should dig a hole through the 
wall of a house, creating the need for awkward explanations 
when the husband returned, is very improbable : his mode of 
ingress would be different (cp. Pr. 7^*-) from that of the thief. 

XXIV. 16-18,] JOB 2 I 1 

i''*' In the daytime they shut themselves up, 

'' One and all ^ they know not the lig'ht ; 
1'' For midnight is (as) morning to them, 

For '' they are^ acquainted with the terrors of ""darkness^. 

18 ''fThey^ are swift" (ye say) " upon the face of the waters. 
Their portion is cursed in the earth ; 

No treader (of grapes) turneth towards "^ their vineyard^. 

l6b. All these nefarious persons keep at home by day. An 
alternative (cp. AV. RVm.) but less probable rendering of the 
line is, which they had sealed for themselves by day : i.e. they set 
marks for purposes of recognition on that part of the house 
by which they intend to gain entrance, — Shut themselves up\ 
securely ; lit. seal themselves tip : cp. the use oi seal\n 9^ 14^'^ 37'^. 

Vj. Night is for them, as for wild beasts (Ps. 104^°"^-), day, 
i.e. the time of their activity. An alternative rendering of * 
is, For morning is as m.idnight to them, i.e. they dread morning 
as much as ordinary people dread darkness. — Mid7iight\ lit. 
thick darkness ; 3^ n. 

18-24. In part at least these corrupt, difficult, ambiguous 
or unintelHgible verses describe the unhappy fate of the wicked; 
this is a constant theme of the friends, whereas Job admits 
at most and by way of concession (c. 21) that ^owe wicked men 
meet with an unhappy fate, but only as rare exceptions to the 
general rule that the wicked prosper. It is necessary, there- 
fore, to suppose either (1) that the vv. are out of place (for 
some theories, see the introductory note to the c.) : or (2) that 
Job in i8~2i is citing the opinions of the friends to reject them in 
v.22f- : so RVm. : for other real or assumed examples of such 
citation, see 2\^^-'^'^. The difficulty is not to be avoided either 
(i) by translating optatively (let them be swift, etc. : cp. (&SF): 
for this would have required different forms in f^ ("tT" ^p for 
Nin isp and ID'' !?X for njD'' N^) ; or (2) by making i8~2i ^nd 22-24 
illustrations of God's different treatment of the wicked — severe 
treatment of some, easy treatment of others — without any 
appearance of moral discrimination (Di.), for of such difference 
the text says nothing. 

2 1 2 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXIV. 18-20. 

^* Drought and heat consume snow waters : 
(So doth) Sheol (those who) have sinned. 

2^ The womb forg-etteth him : 
The worm doth suck him : 
He is remembered no more : 
And unrighteousness is broken as a tree. 

18. They are] f^ he is — in either case, if * goes with *'°, 
the wicked generally (cp. ^^'^ '^'^'^) rather than the special classes 
of ^^'^"^ are intended : their life is short ; they are swiftly (g^^) 
gone, like something hurried away by the stream (Hos. lo'^). 
Portion] of ground, as in 2 S. 14^°^-, Am. 4*. — Is cursed] and in 
consequence unproductive (cp. Gn. 3^''^-) ; whether the curse on 
the wicked man's ground is thought of as pronounced by God 
(cp. Gn. 8-^, the same vb. as here) or man (5^, a different vb.) 
is uncertain. — c. |i| may be translated as above, the meaning 
being : as his (arable) ground is barren, so his vineyard no 
longer yields grapes. JH : he tumeth not by the way of the 
vineyards^ which has been understood as the reverse of "to sit 
under one's vine and fig-tree " (Da.). 

19. In 1^ the v. is unrhythmical, awkwardly expressed and 
no doubt corrupt (see phil. n.) ; ^ (apart from ^) would be more 
naturally rendered, as it is in ffir, his sin is asked for. Du., 
rejecting as glosses ^^^ and (in i^'^) " the way of the vineyards," 
and treating the remainder as two parallels to "^^^ (reading 
nSDDN^ for n3Q> S^, m^rr for 1^»'), renders. Drought and heat take 
it away, Snow waters consume it : i.e. lack of rain in summer, 
excess in winter, alike serve to ruin the wicked man's land. 

20a-C. The wicked passes out of all remembrance, even of 
the mother who bore him (cp. Is. 49^^'-), and only the worm now 
finds any satisfaction in him. But (see phil. n.) not improb- 
ably one or two slight errors in transcription have quite 
altered the figures of the lines, which rather read : 

The square of his (native-) place forgetteth him, 
And his name is remembered no more. 

20d. Cp. 19^°: but the line attaches awkwardly and sus- 
piciously to those that precede, whether these are read as in p.| 
or as emended (see last n.) ; nor is the awkwardness less, if 

XXIV. 20-22.] JOB 2 1 3 

21 He '^ill-treateth^ the barren that beareth not: 

And doeth not good to the widow." 
^ Yet (God) by his power maketh the mighty to continue : 

He riseth up, though he believeth not that he will live. 

with RVm. the line is connected with 21 : And unrighteous- 
ness is broken as a tree: even he that devoureth, etc. Du., 
assuming extensive corruption and transposition of words, 
reads : Like a rotten tree he is uprooted (-ipyi j;j;-i j*yD). 

21. Typical activities of the wicked man (cp. 2- ■*• ^) : ill- 
treatment of the widow is familiar, but we should expect as its 
parallel ill-treatment of the orphan ; instead of this, %] as 
rendered above refers strangely to ill-treatment of childless 
women, the point being supposed to be that such have no sons 
to defend them (Di. : on some curious earlier explanations, see 
Schult.), or if it be rendered he keepeth company with (Pr. 29^) 
the barren (so Marshall), to adultery with wives unlikely to 
conceive. Du., continuing his textual reconstruction of '^^^, 
reads, 21b He doeth not good to the widow, 21a And hath no 
compassion on her child (Dm N^ nhyi—H^iy from 20^^ nm for 
nSn : mpy rs^s has already been taken back into 20dj. — ///. 
treateth\ "^ grazeth on (see phil. n.), or keepeth company with 
(see above). 

22-24. So far from the wicked suffering an untimely fate, 
as you say (^^"2^), God prolongs their life (22a) beyond their ex- 
pectation (22'') and grants them security (2^^^ and tenderly cares 
for them (23b) ; such is the point of 22^-, if ^ is retained in 23 and 
is to be translated as above in 22 ; and the same line of thought 
would be continued in 24^ if this really meant that though the 
wicked share the common fate of men, they do so only when 
they are like ripe ears of corn (52*^), i.e. after a long life. But 
the antithesis at the beginning of 22a Js not marked in |^ 
(*' Yet " is merely "and "); and the verses have been understood 
by some (Du. for instance) as continuing throughout the descrip- 
tion of the unhappy fate of the wicked. 

22. Yet [God) . . . m.aketh . ... to co7itinue\ in life (see 
phil. n.) : f^ may also be translated, And he draweth awav 
(ffirU EV), viz. to destruction, the vb. being the same as in Ps. 


23 He granteth him to be confident, and he stands supported ; 

And his eyes are upon "^his^ ways. 
2* They are exalted for a Httle while, and they are gone ; 

Yea, they are brought low, they are ^ plucked off^ like 

•^ mallows^, 

And like the tops of ears of corn are they cut off. 
^ And if it be not so, now, who will prove me a liar, 

And make my speech nothing worth? 

28^. — Riseth up] from a bed of sickness (cp. Ex. 21^®). By 
itself the line might have a different sense : though he stand up, 
endure (8^^) for the moment, yet he has no confidence in his life 


23a. Du., If he is pulled down, he has no hope of finding 
support: see phil. n. on 22, — 5_ pg, 33^^. For his eyes, Du. 
reads his oppressor (injyc) ; RVm. but his eyes understands the 
line of the punishment of the wicked : though God seems to 
give them security (^), yet all the time He is narrowly watching 
them to punish them. 

24. Even in f^ this v. most naturally suggests the untimely 
end of the persons referred to; for the alternative view, that it 
describes God's favour (see on ^2"^* and phil. n.), reference is 
made to 2\^^. — They are brought low] i.e. (if the word is rightly 
read) in death. — Plucked off] ^ contract themselves, i.e. in death. 
— Like mallows] So ffit : ^ like all (men). — Mallows] 30'*. — Tops 
of the ears of com] this appears to stand for : tops of the 
stalks of corn : corn was reaped by cutting off the tops of the 
stalk a little below the ear : see EBi. Agrictdture 67 with 
illustrations. — Are cut off] or withered: so Di. who understands 
the line as referring to the withering of the tops of the ears 
(see last n.) as the corn ripens. 

XXV. Bildad's third speech. — This speech, which speaks 
of the majesty of God (2^) and, echoing Eliphaz (4^^ 5^*^')> o^ 
the impossibility of man ranking as pure before God (*~^), opens 
abruptly, without a question (4^ n.), and is of extreme brevity. 
The brevity has sometimes been regarded as an indication on 
the poet's part that the arguments of the friends are exhausted : 
more probably it is due to early mutilation of the text which 

XXV. 2-4.] BILDAD 2 1 5 

XXV. ^ Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, 
2 Dominion and fear are with him ; 

Who maketh peace in his high places. 
* Is there any number of his troops ? 

And upon whom doth not his light arise ? 

led to the loss or misplacement of the opening (see on 26^-*) 
and other parts of Bildad's speech : see the Introduction. 

2-6. God rules in such a way as to inspire terror (2^), 
imposing His will on all who resist Him, even among the 
inhabitants of heaven {^^) ; in the execution of His will He can 
rely on innumerable and invincible powers (^). Should man on 
earth, then, criticize Him, as Job had done (23^^-24^^), or, 
again as Job had done (23'^- ^^^•), claim to be innocent (^■^)? 
Neither of the terror of God's rule (see 23^^*^-), nor of the 
imperfection and impurity of human beings (see 9"), did Job 
need Bildad to instruct him. 

2. With hirn\ i.e. with God (see phil. n. on 24^^), who may 
have been mentioned previously in some part of Bildad's speech 
now lost : in every other speech the friends begin with some 
direct address to Job, or indirect reference to him ; Du. prefixes 
26^'^ which contains such an opening, but does not contain an 
antecedent to ivith him. 

2b. Cp. Is. 24^^ (with n. there) and cc. g^^ 26^2^- (with notes). 

3. Troops . . . light\ not very obvious parallel terms, but 
possible, if we think of the troops as the "host of heaven." 
Even so, however, '^^ remains rather strange, for arise (nip : cp. 
11^'^) is not expressed by the usual word (mr) for the rising of 
the sun, and the idea of Mt. 5^^, that God graciously causes His 
sun to shine on all creatures, is obviously out of place here. 
The idea, if the text is right, is rather that of Heb. 4^^ (Peake) : 
no-one is concealed from God ; no-one can secretly withdraw 
himself from His dominion. But © (see phil. n.), keeping up 
the fig. of ^, and giving to the verbal idiom a well-established 
sense, reads And against whom doth not his ambush rise np 
^V Dip, cp. Dt. 19II). 

4-6. A mere variation of Eliphaz's words in 15I4-16 (cp. 4^^^-), 
insisting on a point admitted by Job in 9^ : cp. 14*. 


* How then can man be just beside God ? 

Or how can he be pure that is born of a woman ? 
^ Behold, even the moon hath no brightness, 
And the stars are not pure in his sight : 

* How much less man that is a maggot ! 

And the son of man, which is a worm ! 

XXVI. ^ Then Job answered and said, 

2 How hast thou helped him that is without power! 
How hast thou saved the arm that hath no 

strength ! 

4. Beside God] i.e. "having a righteousness independent of 
God's "—Dr. 

5. Moon . . . siars] without mention of the sun, as Ps. 
34(3). jjTi j^is <<his holy ones . . . the heavens": 4^'^ "his 
servants . . . his angels." 

6. Son of man] in Job only here, and perhaps 16^^. — Maggot] 
or worm of decay and corruption (7^ 17^*) : the term in ^ also ex- 
presses "the idea of extreme abasement (Is. 41^^ Ps. 22^) " — Dr. 

XXVI. 2-4- Job, if the words are his, ironically acknow- 
ledges the help which he has received from Bildad's speech ; 
such abundant and effective wisdom (cp. 12^^-) must have God 
as its ultimate source {^^) — as Eliphaz, indeed, had claimed 
(15^). But the sustained use of the 2nd pers. sing, in the 
address (see below on v.^), and perhaps also the interrogative 
opening so customary with the friends (4^ n.), but only once 
employed by Job (19^), suggest that the lines may be the mis- 
placed opening of Bildad's third speech. In this case Bildad 
is taunting Job : By your charges against God you have 
represented Him as weak and ignorant (cp. 22^' Eliphaz) ; but 
how have you helped and illumined Him with your wisdom 
uttered at such length? {^^ : cp. &■ 18'-). Whence have you 
such wisdom that you venture to instruct even God ? To 
which question Bildad leaves unexpressed the obvious answer : 
there is no wisdom above the wisdom of God : so Du. explains ; 
but the interpretation is perhaps a little laboured. 

2. Thoti] so •^•3a. b4a.b^ There is no other example of such 

XXVI. 2-4.] JOB 2 1 7 

3 How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom, 
And plentifully declared sound knowledg-e ! 

* "^To^ whom hast thou uttered words? 
And whose spirit came forth from thee? 

sustained address by Job to one of the friends alone. Job's 
general habit is to address all three tog-ether in the 2nd pers. 
pi.; so in reply to EHphaz, 62i-2i- 26-29 i62.4f. j^io. ^^ Bildad, 

ig2f.5f.21f.28f. . to Sophar, i 22'- 1 32. 4-13. 17 3 1 2- 3a (b ©). 6. 27. 29. 34^ 

The rare instances of the sing, in address to one of the friends 
alone are : to Eliphaz i6^ to Sophar 1 2^^- (probably not original), 
21^^ {%}, not C5) : there is no instance in the previous replies to 
Bildad. Eliphaz in 15^^- (scarcely also in 42) and Bildad in 8^ 18'-^- 
speak in the pi. as expressing not their individual, but their 
common standpoint ; at other times Eliphaz (4^- ^^^- 5^- ^ 1 5^- ^^) and 
Sophar (202^-), but not Bildad, use the sing. There is nothing in 
Bildad's brief speech in c. 25, nor in 26^-^*, if that be considered 
the misplaced conclusion to it, to account for this very excep- 
tional use of the 2nd pers. sing, in addressing him. — Him that 
is 'withotit power] i.e. (if the words are Job's) Job himself, not 
(Mercerius, Schlottm., Ehrlich) God ; but God, if the words are 
Bildad's. — 77?^? ar?7i\ the seat of strength: cp. 40^, and, e.g., 
Hos. 715, Ezk. 3o2^f-. 

3. Somid k7i07vledge] the term n'^E'in (5^2 n. and phil. n.) 
has been previously used by Job, Eliphaz, and Sophar, but not 

4. To whom] or, rather, with whose help ? With God's ? 
This certainly gives the better parallelism to ^. If we read or 
render (see phil. n.) to wliom, the point is: will you really 
teach me, who have no need of such teaching ? (cp. Is. 28^). 

4b. You cannot but have spoken by the inspiration of God 
(and * by His help : see phil. n.) : so rightly Di. Da. explain. 
The meaning is not : you have borrowed what you have to say 
from Eliphaz (Del.), or from me, Job (in cc. 9, 12, Bu.) : you 
are comforting me with words that you have plagiarized ! (Bu.). 

5-14. The power of God extends to Sheol (^^•), and is mani- 
fested in the incidents of Creation (doa) 12 (i3)j ^^^ ^^g recurring 
marvels of the enduring order of the world (7-9. lob.uPis)^^ In 

2l8 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVI. 4-5. 

^ The shades do tremble 

Beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. 

the probably mutilated state of the text in cc. 25-27 (see 
Introduction), it is uncertain whether these vv. originally 
formed part of a speech of Job, or continued the speech of 
Bildad, following 25^ (Peake), or less probably 25^ (Reuss, Du. 
al.). The same general theme — the might and marvellous 
works of God — is handled elsewhere by Job (9^"^^ j 2(7-10). 15. 
more distantly parallel is the remainder of 12''^^) : but it is also 
more briefly touched on by Eliphaz (5^*- 22!^), Sophar (ii'^~^), 
and by Bildad (25^^) ; and it forms a main theme of the speeches 
of Yahweh. So far, then, 5"^* might well occur in a speech 
either of Job or of one of the friends. But the theme is not 
closely related (ct. c. 9) to the opening of the speech (2-4), nor 
to what purports to be its continuation (after a pause, 27^) in 
2728-, It is said, indeed, that Job's object is to show that he 
can outdo Bildad's brief attempt in 25^"^^^^ (Bu.), or that he 
stands in no need of Instruction (cp. **) in the greatness of 
God (Da.) ; but neither the one nor the other object is really 
indicated in the present text ; and something has perhaps been 
lost between * and ^, if both 2-4 and ^-^^ originally formed part 
of Job's speech. The connection is not improved by following 
ffir, which omits ^-ii- 1^'*- ^ (cp. Hatch, Biblical Greek, 225): this, 
too, would leave the treatment of the theme in c. 26 as brief as 
in c. 25. 

5. The text is probably in some disorder (see phil. n.). A 
mere change in the accentuation gives an — at least formally 
— better distich : 

The shades do tremble beneath, 

The waters and the inhabitants thereof. 
For the shades beneath, cp. " Sheol beneath," Is. 14^; for the 
"waters," regarded as "under the earth," and therefore a 
possible parallel term to "the shades beneath," cp. Ex. 20*, 
Dt. 4'^^ 58. But the combination of the waters, the shades, 
and the inhabitants of the waters, i.e. the fishes, is strange ; 
and the text may have suffered more seriously. As a coyi- 
tinuation of 252 (the fear of God secures peace in the heights 

XXVI. 5.] JOB 2 1 9 

of heaven), 26^ (and causes those in the depths of Sheol to 
tremble) would be admirable ; but the v. is by no means so 
suitable as the bcghming of Job's rejoinder to Bildad, as Di.'s 
attempt to justify it as such shows : '■'■ Not the heavenly beings 
alone [as Bildad has said), but, says Job, even the shades 
in the lowest deeps tremble before him " ; if what is here 
(though not by Di.) italicized had been intended, it would surely 
have been expressed. — The shades^ D^NDl as in Ps. 88^^ ^^"^ (|| the 
dead), Pr. 2^^ (|| death) g^^ (|| "her guests in the depths of 
Sheol "), 21I6, Is. 149 2614 (II «' the dead ") 19+ : so in Phoen., '' No 
seed among the living under the sun, nor resting-place with the 
shades" (Tabnith Inscription, I. 8; Cooke, NSI 4): "may 
they have no resting-place with the shades, nor be buried in the 
grave " (Eshmun'azar's Inscription : CIS i^, Cooke, 5) — both 
passages of about 300 B.C. The term quite clearly denotes the 
inhabitants of Sheol, who had once lived on earth ; and to the 
author of Is. i^^^- it denoted them as the weak and feeble sur- 
vivals of once lusty beings of flesh and blood. It is unlikely, 
therefore, that in and by itself it meant or implied giants (<S(IEU 
QX^A here, Du. : cp. Peake), and, if the context really required 
such a reference, it would be better to assume that words now 
lost defined the special "shades" intended as those of the 
primeval giants (cp. "the shades, all the bell-wethers of earth ; 
all the kings of the nations," Is. 149). For etymological 
speculations, which do not determine the meaning placed on 
the term by late Hebrew writers, cp. n. on Is. 14^; EBi. s.v. 
Dead. — The waters^ of the sea (cp. v.^*', Gn. i9f. 22^^ ^^ j.j^g 
surface of which the earth was regarded as spread out (Ps. 
136^) or built (Ps. 24^) ; where there was no dry land spread 
out or built upon and so concealing those waters, they appear 
as seas or rivers, or give evidence of their presence by springs 
welling up from below (Gn. 7^1) ; but even these visible 
waters were, according to Hebrew mode of speech, "under 
the earth " (Ex, 20*, Dt. 4^^) ; what was under the waters 
was therefore a fortiori under the earth. — The inhabitants] 
of the waters must be the fish in them ; alike the great mon- 
sters of the deep and the smaller fish with which the waters 
swarm (cp. Gn, i^"-, Ps. 8^^^^ 98'^): a special reference to the 

2 20 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVI. 5-7. 

^ Sheol is naked before him, 

And Abaddon hath no covering-: 
^ Who stretcheth out the north over empty space, 

(And) hangeth the earth upon nothing : 

great monsters (cp. Peake) might be more appropriate, but is 
not in the present text : on the other hand, the strange 
description of the shades as being under the fishes is not 
necessarily expressed by the text, but disappears if we place 
the comma after " beneath " ; see above. With " beneath the 
waters and the inhabitants thereof" might be compared " who 
spread out the earth and all that came out of it " (Is. 42^) ; but 
there, though the zeugma is extreme, the allusion to all that 
comes out of the earth is entirely suitable to the context. 

6. Cp. Pr. 15^^ Ps. I39'^^-, Am. q^^-. Sheol, stripped, with 
all covering that could screen it removed, lies exposed to the 
eye of God and defenceless before Him. — Abaddon] a term for 
Sheol as the place of destruction : so Pr. 15^^ 2720 (coupled with 
Sheol), c. 282"^ (coupled with Death), Ps. 58^2 (y the grave), 
c. 31^2-j-. In Rev. g^^ = ^A7roXkucov. 

7, 8. Sheol conceals no mystery from God C^) ; and of what 
are to men the mysteries of earth 7(a). b^ ^^d sky ^, God is 
Himself the cause, and, as such, cognizant of them ; He hangs 
the earth with its inconceivable weight on nothing, and keeps 
it so suspended ; He uses the clouds as vast water-skins to 
hold the rain, and they do not split in spite of the immense 
weight of the rain-water within them ; the Hebrews had no 
conception of the contents of the clouds being the light vapour 
of water. — Stretcheth out\ the vb. (nt::) is that commonly used 
of stretching out the tent (-coverings over the supporting poles) : 
see, e.g., Gn. 12^, Jer. lo^*'; hence it is used of stretching out 
the heavens (9^ Zee. 12^, and frequently in Is. 40-66, e.g., 45^^)^ 
which were conceived as the coverings of a vast tent (Is. 40^^, 
Ps. 104^). If it is here used of the earth (see next n.), it is so 
used exceptionally and as a synonym of J?p1 beat, spread out, 
the vb. used of the earth in Is. 42^^ 44^*, where nu: is used of 
the heavens (another term used of the earth in parallelism with 
nD3 of the heavens is nD% Zee. 12^ Is. t^\^'^).—The north] this 

XXVI. 7-9.] JOB 221 

8 Who bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds. 
And the cloud is not rent under them : 

• Who closeth in the face of Hiis^ throne, 
Spreading- his cloud upon it. 

might mean (i) the northern and highest region of the heavens: 
op. Is. 14^^, though some think that even here "the north'' is 
the northern part of the earth ; or (2) the northern part of the 
earth, as Ps. 89^^, Is. 43*^. The vb. (see last n.) strongly 
favours meaning (i) here; and, as against this, it is incon- 
clusive to plead that the dome of sky was thought to be 
supported by pillars (cp. ^^) at the horizon. Since (see last n.) 
the sky was certainly conceived as a tent-covering, the question 
may easily have presented itself: how is this vast tent-covering 
held up without any central tent-pole or poles such as earthly 
tents require, whether the pavilion of a monarch on campaign, 
puny though it be by comparison, or the constant home of the 
nomad : see EBi. 4970 f. for illustrations and descriptions of 
central pole(s). But if the usage of the vb. may be disregarded, 
and meaning (2) adopted, ^ is entirely concerned with the earth, 
and s with the (clouded) sky. — Ha7igeth . . . upon] i.e. suspends 
from (^y rhT\ as Gn. 40^^, Is. 22-*, Ps. 137^), or suspends over (as 
2 S. 4^^) : the II favours the latter meaning ; but the conception 
then expressed of the earth poised over empty space would be 
paralleled, if at all, only in 38'' : moreover, unless we consider 
the pillars of the earth (9^) part of it, constituting, so to speak, 
its skeleton (Di.), and the waters under it (^ n.) also part of it, 
viz. its foundations (z^.), the conception would not be strictly 
compatible with what is implied by these expressions. 

8. For the clouds conceived as, or under the figure of, 
water-skins, see 38^^, Ps. 33^ (G : for the marvel of rain, Pr. 
30* ; also cc. 362^^- 38^4, 

pa might also be translated *'Who closeth in the face of 
the full moon," viz. when the moon is eclipsed; but this is 
less likely, though even the translation above is not free from 
difficulty; see phi!, n. "Jehovah's throne was pictured by the 
Hebrews as being above the solid firmament of heaven (cp. 
37^^, Am. 9^): its 'face,' or outside front, was hidden from the 

2 22 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVI. 9-12. 

^" He hath "^ marked out a circle ^ upon the face of the waters, 

Unto the confines of light and darkness. 
^^ The pillars of heaven quiver, 

And are astonished at his rebuke. 

view of men upon the earth, partly by this firmament, partly 
by the clouds underneath it " (cp. 22^^- ^^) — Dr. 

10. "The ancients supposed the earth to be a flat disk 
encircled by waters [cp. ^ n.]: and so this v. means that God 
has " marked out a circle " (corresponding to what we call the 
* horizon,' though conceived by the Hebrews as a /fx^^ boundary) 
upon the surface of these waters : along their inner edge rise 
the mountains supporting the great dome of heaven (cp. Am. 
9^) ; and the '' boundary ' thus formed marks the confines of 
light and darkness, because within this dome the heavenly 
bodies revolve, while outside all is darkness " — Dr. See, fur- 
ther, Whitehouse's art. Cosmogony in DB with the sketch on 

P- 503- 

11. The pillars of heaven\ the mountains at the horizon 

conceived as supporting the vault of heaven : see on v.-^°. 
En. 18^ refers to the phrase and wrongly explains it. Even 
the mountains tremble at the voice, i.e. the thunders of God 
(cp. Ps. 29, 18^*^^^). — Rehuke\ here of God speaking angrily in 
thunder: cp. Ps. 18^^^^^^ 104'^ with the parallel and the context. 
12 f. There have been two main lines of interpretation of 
these verses ; both vv. have been regarded as instancing either 
recurrent manifestations of God's power in the phenofnena of 
sea and sky, or mighty acts of God at or before the creation 
of the world. Some interpret ^^ only in the second sense, "^^ in 
the first. The use of the perfect tense in both lines of ^^ and in 
13b p3a j^as j^Q vb.), in contrast to the imperfects and participles 
of recurrent divine action which predominate in ^~^^, favours 
the view that the verses — at least ^^ — refer to specific acts at 
creation, and the correspondence, again most clearly in ^^, to 
conspicuous features of Babylonian mythology increases this 
probability. If the reference throughout is to recurrent action, 
present tenses (as in RV.), is stilled . . . siniteth, should be 
substituted for the pasts in the above translation ; if ^^ as well 

XXVI. 12-13.] JOB 223 

12 Through his power the sea was stilled ; 

And by his understanding" he smote through Rahab. 
12 By his wind the heavens are brightened : 

His hand pierceth the fleeing serpent. 

as ^2 refers to an act at creation, the past should be substituted 
for the present in ^^ were . . . pierced. 

12. The V. is best taken (see last n.) as containing allusions, 
such as have already occurred in this book (9^^), to the Hebrew 
form (in which all creative activity was attributed to Yahweh) 
of the old Babylonian mythological account of creation : as, in 
Babylonian story, before the creation of the world, Tiamat, 
the representative of the sea and disorder, had to be subdued, 
and as Marduk, in conflict with Tiamat, "seized the spear, 
and tore her belly, cut her inward parts, pierced her heart, 
made her powerless, destroyed her life, cast down her body 
and stood upon it" [Tablets of Creation, iv. 101-105 : Rogers, 
CP, p. 29), so, in Hebrew popular story, before the creation 
of the world Yahweh quelled the sea, and, like the wise Marduk 
of the Babylonian story, who used craft {ib. iv. 95-100), not by 
mere might, but by the use of his tinder staiiding, slew the sea- 
monster Rahab (see 9^^ n.). The tenses do not favour the view 
that afresh piercing of Rahabevery time astormyseawas hushed, 
is here referred to. — Was stilled\ others render, he stirred up 
(to fight) : see phil. n. — He smote through Rahab] cp. Is. 51^. 

13. " The V. describes how, after a storm, the wind, — God's 
' breath ' (as Is. 40'^), — clearing away the clouds, brightens the 
sky; and how the 'fleeing serpent' (cp. Is. 27^), which was 
popularly supposed to be the cause of darkness at an eclipse 
(cp. 3*^), is destroyed by His power, and the lig^ht of the sun 
restored" — Dr. On this view of the v., for which see also Di. 
Da. Del. Peake, the writer returns from illustrating the power 
of God shown in His mighty acts at creation (^^j ^q examples 
of His recurrent activity in nature (cp. ^~^^) ; and perhaps ^^ 
more naturally attaches to examples of recurrent activity than 
of unrepeated acts in the past. Yet the pf. tense in ^, the 
similarity of ^ to ^^^, and of ^^^, ^^^ combined to Is. 51^, together 
establish a strong presumption for referring ^^ like ^^ to the 

2 24 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVI. 13-14. 

^* Lo, these are but the outskirts of his ways ; 

And what a whisper of a word do we hear of him ! 

But the thunder of his mighty acts who can comprehend? 

past, though perhaps none of the attempts so to explain it have 
been entirely satisfactory. 

U (*' Spiritus eius ornavit caelos, et obstetricante manu eius eductus 
est coluber tortuosus") and ST (in which, as in F (ct. &), the vbs. in both 
lines are, as in pj in '', in the pf.) understand the v. to refer to the clearing- 
up of the heavens at creation (cp. Gn. i'^'-) and to the creation of Leviathan 
(cp. 3®), which tH definitely names here. But modern interpreters of the v. 
appeal for support to the parallelism of '^ with the Babylonian story, which 
parallelism, it is contended, with considerable probability, continues in ^* ; 
and to ffi. ffit, though it implies in * a Hebrew text very slightly differing 
from fH, gives * a very different sense, viz. 27!^ bars of heaven shuddered 
before him: this is adopted by Gunkel [Schiipfung u. Chaos, 36 f), who 
sees in * an allusion to the bars or bolts which were forbidden to let water 
stream down from heaven, except when God permitted, and shuddered to 
disobey the divine command. It will be convenient to cite the Hnes of the 
Creation story (iv. 130-132, 135, 137-141 ; Rogers, CP 2^^.) most immedi- 
ately concerned : 

" With his merciless club he broke her (Tiamat's) skull, 
He cut through the channels of her blood. 
And he made the North wind bear it away to secret places. 
Then the lord rested, he gazed upon her dead body. 
He split her open like a flat (?) fish into two halves ; 
One half of her he established as a covering for heaven. 
He fixed a bolt, he stationed a watchman, 
He commanded them not to let her waters come forth." 
But the "bars of heaven shuddered" would be a strange way of alluding 
to this. We might rather surmise that the allusion to the myth lies not in 
the bars of G, but the witid of % (the remainder of * being corrupt). For 
the part played by the wind in the conflict with Tiamat, cp. the third of the 
lines just cited, and, e.g., iv. 45-48 : 

He created an evil wind, a tempest, a hurricane, 

A fourfold wind, a sevenfold wind, a whirlwind, a wind beyond compare. 
He sent forth the winds, which he had created, the seven of them, 
To disturb the inner parts of Tiamat, they followed after him. 
In the "fleeing serpent" of *>, following Rahab in i^'', Gu. sees evidence 
that the Hebrew myth spoke of two creatures slain by Yahweh, as the 
Babylonian myth speaks of Kingu as well as Tiamat. Daiches (ZA, 191 1, 
p. 3) finds in * a statement of the creation of the heavens, in ^ of the creation 
of the sea, in agreement (as he argues) with the order of events after the 
slaying of Tiamat in the Babylonian story ; but see phil. n. 

14. Marvellous as are the ways of God just described, what 
is indescribable is immeasurably more marvellous ; the story of 

XXVI. 14-XXVII. 2.] JOB 225 

XXVII. ^ And Job again took up his discourse, and said, 
* As God liveth, who hath taken away my rig^ht ; 

And the Ahnighty, who hath embittered my soul; 

His mig-hty acts comes throug-h to man as a mere whisper of 
the thunder of their far distant reaHty. Even what God does 
is but partially and faintly heard : how much less can the 
reason for what He does be discovered ! such is probably the 
indirect suggestion of the v. 

XXVII. This c. (i) opens with an introductory formula 
stating that Job is the speaker, although it immediately follows 
what is, according to 26^, a speech of Job; (2) is, for the most 
part of its contents, entirely at variance with the standpoint of 
Job, and in entire agreement with the standpoint of the friends. 
Both these features are probably due to dislocations of the text 
in this part of the book; see once. 25, 262~*-^~^* and Introduction. 
While 2"^ clearly, ^^ probably, and perhaps ^^ belong to a 
speech of Job's, ^~^° and ^^^3 ^^.g most naturally referred to one 
of the friends, and perhaps formed parts of the apparently 
missing third speech of Sophar. 

I. Took up his discourse, and said] So 29^, Nu. 22^' ^^ 
2^3. 15. 20. 21. 23 . sgg j^^ ij^ Numbers, p. 344 f, — Again] after c. 
26, though no other speaker has intervened (cp. 34^ 35^ 36^ 
40^). If dislocation of the text is not assumed (see above), it 
is usual to assume that Job pauses for Sophar to reply, and 
finding him silent resumes his own speech. 

2-6. Job once again maintains, and now for the first time 
with a solemn oath (cp. 31^^-), his integrity, and that his manner 
of life in no way accounts for the calamities that have befallen 
him; that these, on the contrary, prove not his unrighteousness, 
but God's perversion of his right ; and, consequently, that it 
would be a profane thing for him (^) to admit that his friends 
had spoken the truth. These verses read quite like the 
beginning of a speech of Job ; and do not require, scarcely 
even allow, 26^"* as an introduction to them. They are not very 
intimately related to what survives of Bildad's speech, even if 
26^"^* be referred to him, nor to ^'f'^^- ^3-23 conjecturally attri- 
buted to Sophar. 


2 26 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVII. 2-7. 

^ (For all my breath is still in me, 

And the spirit of God is in my nostrils ;) 
* Surely my lips do not speak unrig-hteousness, 

Neither doth my tong-ue utter deceit. 
^ Be it far from me ! Surely I will not justify you ! 

Till I die I will not put away mine integrity from me. 
^ My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go : 

My heart doth not reproach any one of my days. 

2. Job swears by God, though in the very terms of the 
oath he charges God with doing him injustice. — Taken away 
my right] 34^: cp. (with nan for i^on) Dt. 24^'^ 27^^, i S. 8^ 
the milder complaint against God in Is. 40^^, and the anti- 
thetical phrase in c. 36^. — Embittered my sotil] cp. "the bitter- 
ness of my soul," 7^^ 10^; "a bitter soul," 21'^^. 

3. The parenthesis "is intended to add strength to Job's 
protestation : though worn by his disease, he still has life and 
energy to make it " — Dr. The alternative translation (see 
phil. n.), all the while my breath is in m.e, would only be suit- 
able (cp. Ps. 1462^-) if Job were swearing that (*) he would 
always in the future speak truth : and here he is swearing to 
the fact that he always has spoken and still does speak truth. 

5. Justify you\ Admit your charges to be true. — I will not 
put away m.y integrity] the equivalent, stated negatively, of 
"I will hold fast to my integrity" (cp. 2^-^). To allow the 
charges of the friends to pass as true — a course repudiated in * 
— would make Job a liar, and so impair his integrity (i^ n.). 

6. Heart] Conscience, as i S. 24^ (^^. Never had Job com- 
mitted such sins as to account for his calamities. 

7-10. The speaker — not Job, but possibly Sophar (see 
above) — expresses the wish (ct. 31^^) that his enemy may be 
overtaken by the unhappy lot of the wicked, in particular, that 
he may — as Job does now (9'^'- 13-* 19'^ 30^*^) — find God deaf to 
him when trouble befalls him (^^•). Such an execration would 
be intelligible in the mouth of the friends who hold the fate of 
the wicked to be the worst of fates, but not in the mouth of 
Job ; for in his mouth it would mean : May my enemy prosper 
in life and be honoured in death (cp. e.g. 21^^-'^'^^^) I 

XXVII. 7.] S0PHAR(?) 227 

[SOI'HAK (?)] 

^ Let mine enemy be as the wicked, 

And let him that riseth up ag^ainst me be as the un- 

Two attempts to explain the words as Job's may be referred to. " The 
words beingf inconsistent with the condition of Job's mind as revealed in his 
speeches, it is supposed (a) that he has at last found his way to an assured 
trust in God, or that such a trust has suddenly, after the attacks of his 
friends are ended, flashed upon him, and filled his mind with the hope of a 
restoration to God's favour (Ew. Di.). This altered frame of mind, how- 
ever, though not in itself inadmissible, is difficult to reconcile with what 
follows : for in 3o-'^- ^ Job expresses again the same thought, which ex 
hypothesi he would have overcome ; he denies, precisely as he has done 
throughout the debate, that God listens to his cry. And similarly in 31^6-37 
he treats God still as his adversary. At the same time it is conceivable 
that the author onlj' intended to represent Job as having gained a teinporary 
calmness of mind, which afterwards, as the contrast between his past and 
present condition forces itself upon him (cc. 30-31), he fails to maintain. 
The alternative (6) is to conclude that the implicit reference is to }o\is past 
condition, and to suppose that the state of mind which Job denies to the 
ungodly is suggested by memories of his own former condition, as described 
in c. 29, when the tokens of God's friendship were abundantly bestowed 
upon him. Upon this view the words are considered to be introduced here 
as a continuation of vv.-"^, as though to say : How could one have ever 
been tempted to sin, who knew so well the miserable mental state into 
which the sinner falls? (Hengstenberg partly; Budde \^ZATW, 1882], 
pp. 205-210, and in his Comm." — Dr. LOT^ 422. Bu. in the interests of 
this interpretation places "^ after ^'', 

7. For the form of speech, cp. Nu. 23^*'. To wish the best 
for oneself — the lot of the righteous, and the worst for one's 
enemy — the lot of the wicked, was, in spite of better teaching 
(Pr. 24^^), doubtless the average moral practice of the day, and 
this the author might readily attribute to any one of the three 
representatives of the normal religious dogma : he represents 
Job as governed by a higher morality (31^^^-). — Mine ene?tiy] 
obviously quite general — any one who is my enemy, as, e.g:, 
in Ex. 23*. It is only, if the v. is assigned to Job, that artificial 
interpretation is required to establish a connection with ^"^ : 
Di., ^.^., explains: Let not me, but my enemy, z'.e. him who 
denies my righteousness (v.^^-), be, i.e. appear, as the one who 
is in the wrong. 

228 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVII. 8-13. 

^ For what is the hope of the g'odless, when he HsT cut off, 

When God "^requireth^ his soul? 
* Will God hear his cry, 

When trouble cometh upon him? 
^^ Will he delig-ht himself in the Almighty, 

(And) call "^unto^ God at all times? 


^^ I will teach you concerning- the hand of God ; 

That which is in the mind of the Almighty will I not conceal. 
^2 Behold all ye yourselves have seen it ; 

Why then are ye become altogether vain ? 

8. Is cut off\ cp. Is. 38^2. But in this context the expression 
almost seems to imply that, in contrast to the wicked, the 
righteous, when he is "cut off," has a hope of immortality. 
But if so, the clause is inconsistent with the standpoint of the 
book. See, further, phil. n. — Requireth\ ^ draisoeth out. 

lOa. Cp. 2226a (Eliphaz). 

II, 12. In 1^ (as in ^'^) the pron. you is pi. ; unless this be 
corrected to the sing, (see phil. n.), ^^ as well as ^^ must be 
part of a speech of Job to the friends. Apart from the question 
of the pron., v.^^ would be equally suitable in the mouth of 
either Job or one of the friends ; each claims to know the hand, 
or action, and the mind of God, in regard to the righteous and 
the unrighteous. In ^^ the 2nd plural (four times) is too 
deeply embedded in the text for the v. to be anything but a 
part of Job's address through one to all three of the friends 
(cp. n. on 26^) ; if the pi. in ^^ is right, the vv. may have stood 
together : I will teach you how God treats the righteous and 
the unrighteous (v.^^), though, as a matter of fact, you ought 
not to need to be taught facts of life which stare you in the 
face (^2a^ . ygj- yQu (Jq^ for ^i2b^ your entire conduct of your 
argument has no relation to reality (see phil. n.). But that 
such a prelude should, in the mouth of Job, be followed by ^3-23^ 
cannot be shown to be probable (see on i3-23j_ 

13-23. The unhappy fate of the wicked man as described, 
perhaps by §ophar, in any case, not by Job. 

xxvn. 13-14.] sophar(?) 229 

[SOPHAR (?)] 

13 This is the portion of a wicked man ''from'' God, 

And the heritage of oppressors, which they receive from 

the Almighty. 

1* If his children be multipHed, it is for the sword; 
And his offspring are not satisfied with bread. 

For it would be " remarkable (a) that Job should undertake to teach his 
friends what they had continuously maintained, viz. the evil fate which 
overtakes the wicked ; (6) that he should himself affirm the opposite of 
what had been his previous position, viz. that an evil fate does not overtake 
the wicked {(^•••'^ : c. 21 : c. 24) ; (c) that while coinciding with his friends 
in opinion, he should reproach them with folly " (^-). " The solution com 
monly offered of this difficulty is that Job is here modifying his former 
extravagant expressions respecting the prosperity of the wicked, and con- 
ceding that, as a rule, or often, a disastrous fate overtakes them. But, as 
Professor Davidson remarks : (a) the limitation, ' as a rule,' has to be 
read into the passage, for the language is as absolute as that of any of his 
friends ; (/3) if the passage be a retractation of Job's previous language, it 
is a retractation which errs equally in extravagance on the other side : for 
it asserts a law of temporal retribution without any apparent qualification 
whatever ; (7) it is singular that in describing the fate of the wicked at 
God's hands. Job should use the same figures, and even sometimes the 
same words, which he employs when speaking of his own destruction by 
God (21, cp. 9^^ 3o'^» ; 22, cp. i^^ ; ^s, cp. 17^ Z'^^'^")- Perhaps, however, this 
coincidence is accidental. A decidedly better explanation is that of 
Schlottmann and Budde {ZATW, 1882, p. 211 ff.), who suppose the passage 
to be spoken by Job -with an eye to his three friends : v." he ironically 
declares that he will ' teach ' them, which he does by forthwith turning 
their own weapons against them ; they know C'^) what the fate of the 
wicked man is, and yet they strangely do not see that by their wicked 
insinuations against Job they are invoking it deliberately upon themselves ! 
Job has spoken strongly before of the wrong done to him by his friends 
(i3^-''- " 19-'- 21^), and has threatened them with Divine vengeance {i^^'^'- 
1929) ; and here, upon this view, he holds up to them, if they will make the 
application, a more distinct warning" (Dr. LOT^ 422 f.). This seems 
to be the only explanation "which, while leaving the text as it is, and 
retaining the passage for Job, gives it a logical place in his argument. 
But it must be admitted that this explanation is artificial, and that there is 
nothing in 27^^"-^ to suggest that it is spoken with a view to Job's friends : 
on the other hand, 2-f-^^- ^^'^ would be perfectly suitable in Sophar's mouth, 
and consistent with what he has maintained before '' (c. 20) — Dr. Job, p. 77. 

13. Cp. 2o29 (Sophar). 

14, 15. The wicked man may have many children and 
family connections, and so (cp. e.g. Ps. 1272-5, and see on i^) 

230 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVII, 14-18. 

^^ Those that survive of him are buried in death, 

And "^ their ^ widows weep not. 
^* Though he heap up silver as the dust, 

And prepare raiment as the clay ; 
^^ He may prepare it, but the just putteth it on. 

And the innocent divideth the silver. 
^^ He buildeth his house as the "^ spider^, 

And as a booth which the keeper maketh. 

apparently be an object of God's favour ; but he lives to see 
them come to an untimely end through sword, famine, and 
pestilence. Cp. 5* (Eliphaz), iS^^ (Bildad), 26^^ (Sophar) ; ct. 
21^ (Job). Sophar might insinuate the conclusion that as Job's 
children had come to an untimely end, Job must be unrighteous; 
Job would not himself make his cruellest loss prove his dearest 
conviction, that of his own integrity, false. 

15. This v. appears to mean : * those belonging to the 
wicked man who survive (cp. iS^^phil. n.) the sword and famine 
of ^* perish by the pestilence — death having this sense, as in Jer. 
15^ 18^^; these not merely die by the pestilence, but receive no 
other burial than they receive from it, i.e. they lie unburied ; 
and ^ (cp. Ps. 78^*) they lack the solemn funeral wailing which 
their widows would normally have supplied. For the aggrava- 
tion of death by lack of burial, cp. e.g. 2 K. 9^*^, Jer. 8- 14^^; 
by the lack of the correct ceremonial of death and funeral, 
Jer. 22^°-^^. — In deatJ{\ rather by death. — Their 'wido'ws\ f^ his 
widows, which, unless it means the widow of each one of them 
(see phil. n.), would implicitly anticipate the death of the wicked 
man, which is not directly referred to before ^^, even if there 
(see n. there) ; it would also imply that in his lifetime he was a 

16, 17. Similarly the wicked man may for a time acquire 
much money and great possessions — here the man's wardrobe 
is taken as typical of the latter — but only to part with them ; 
his money and goods pass over to the righteous. 

16. For the comparisons, cp. Zee. 9^. 

18. Cp. 8i4f- (Bildad), ct. 2i9 (Job). The house of the 
wicked man, however strongly he may build it and however 

XXVII. 18-20.] S0PHAR(?) 23 1 

1^ He lieth down rich, but ''doeth so^ no f^more' ; 
He openeth his eyes, and he is not. 

permanent he may intend it to be, quickly collapses : it is 
actually as fragile as a spider's web, and has no longer endur- 
ance than that most temporary of human habitations, the booth 
(Is. i^) or shelter made of boards and matting for the use of 
watchmen in vineyards or gardens during the summer, which 
readily falls to pieces in the storms of autumn and winter ; see 
the picture of a modern "booth" in SBOT, Isaiah, p. 162. — 
Spider] cp. 8^* ; this rather than moth (^) is to be read. 

19. A day comes when the wicked man goes to bed rich 
for the last time ; next morning he wakes up to find himself 
dead (cp. Is. 37^^), or, translating in ^ and it (viz. his wealth) 
is not, shorn of his riches. Dr., in the above translation and 
in the phil. n., with Ew. Di. Da. Del. al., refers this v. to the 
death of the wicked man. But (i) in 20-23 the wicked man is 
depicted as still alive to experience the bitterness of his fallen 
fortunes ; (2) to continue rich to the last hour of life is rather 
the privilege (from the standpoint of the current theory of the 
lot of the righteous and the unrighteous) of the righteous than 
the fate of the wicked ; it is Job's complaint (21^^) that, against 
the current theory, the facts of life show the wicked spending 
their days in prosperity, and then, when they must share the 
lot of all mankind, going down easily and in a moment to 
Sheol. For these reasons we may preferably, with, e.g., Hi. 
Bu., treat the v. as referring to the sudden loss of the wicked 
man's wealth. — But doeth so no more] or, but does not again (so. 
lie down rich) ; ^ and is not gathered, i.e. to the grave in 
burial. — He openeth his eyes, and he is not] if this line refers to 
death (but see above), cp. 2 K. 19^^ "when they rose up early 
in the morning, behold dead corpses were they all." 

20-23. The last scene ; but even here the death of the 
wicked man is not depicted ; death, which comes even to good 
men, is too good for him ; he is depicted as flooded by waters 
or hurled by the tempest out of his house where he had once 
seemed to himself so rich and secure, the mark of God's 
arrows, hurled unsparingly at him, and the object of man's 

2.32 THE BOOK OF JOB [XX Vn. 20-23. 

2" Terrors overtake him like waters ; 

In the night a whirlwind stealeth him away. 
2^ The sirocco carrieth him away, and he departeth ; 

And it sweepeth him out of his place. 
'^2 And (God) hurleth at him, and spareth not ; 

He fleeth away from (before) his hand. 
'-^^ Men clap their hands at him, 

And hiss at him from his place. 

merciless contempt and scorn — a terror-stricken fugitive from 
God and man. 

20a. Cp. (implicitly) 20^8 (Sophar), 22^^ (Eliphaz). — Terrors] 
ninb: iSii-i* (Bildad), 24!^ 30^^ Q oh), — Whirlwind] 21I8 378. 

21. Sirocco] 15^ 38^^; cp. i^^ n. 

22. God, unnamed in f^, as in 32° (n.), is the subject. The 
object, too, of hurleth must be understood ; the arrows of God, 
i.e. the lightnings, are probably intended (cp. 16^^). This is 
the one v. in the entire description in which God, though even 
here unnamed, is referred to; partly on this ground, partly on 
the ground that 21 comes haltingly after 2^, and 22 in its present 
position is very much "post festum," Bu. omits ^if- but retains 
2^ as against ffir, which omits ^^"^^ (so Bi.). See, further, phil. n. 

23. Cp. 22^^ (Eliphaz). — Clap their hands] in malicious de- 
light : cp. La. 2^^, where also hiss (cp. Zeph. 2^^, Jer. 49^^) 
occurs in the parallel, and with a different vb., Nah. 3^^. 

XXVIII. The c. is an independent poem ^ on the limitations 
of human achievement and, in contrast, the incomparable and 
inscrutable wisdom of God, rather than a speech either of Job, 

^ The main argument, that c. 28 was not originally part of the Dialogue, 
is exegetical ; but it may also be noted (i) that the c. avoids the divine 
names regularly used in the Dialogue ; in ^ 'nx, occurring nowhere else in 
the book, or ni.T, occurring nowhere else in the Dialogue (for 12* is no real 
exception), is used, and in ^^ D'rr'^N, which occurs at most twice (5^ 20^) in 
the Dialogue (as against 90 occurrences in all of ni'jN, Sn, and nw) : see 
table in the Introduction ; (2) though the occurrence of unique words or 
meanings in the description of mining and precious stones — subjects not 
handled elsewhere — has little significance, the occurrence of my*, nSo'*, 
"]E'd"*, which might have been but are not used elsewhere in the book, is 
noticeable ; (3) the use of a refrain C'^), is more natural to an independent 
poem than to a speech in the Dialogue. 


or, though this would raise less difficulty, of one of his friends, 
whether Sophar (Griltz, Monatsschrifi, 1872, pp. 241-250; 
Hoffm.) or Bildad (Stuhlm.). It contains no single obvious 
connection with the stage of the debate now reached, and only 
in 28^ which may refer obliquely to i', has it any connection 
whatever with any preceding part of the book. On the other 
hand, in the mouth of Job it anticipates, and that in such a way 
as to render nugatory, the speech(es) of Yahweh in cc. 38-40. 
What Yahweh there says, using the very words of ^^ in 38^^*^ 
and, as in ^^'^"^ here, illustrating the divine wisdom by reference 
to certain marvels of creation, is unmistakably addressed to Job 
with the purpose of bringing him to realize that he does not 
possess the wisdom of God : consequently what Yahweh there 
teaches him he would himself here already expound, and that 
as calmly as if it were a position long reached by himself and 
generally recognized ; for c. 28 is not an argument, but a 
meditation ; it does not attempt to prove to the friends or any 
one else that God's wisdom is unattainable : it assumes and 
reflects upon the truth and its corollary, the limitations of 
human knowledge : this at least is true of the c. down to ^8 : 
only in the last v. does the poem take on a didactic character, 
and that v. is probably a later addition (see below). 

The nature of the attempts to explain the c. as a speech of Job's, and 
Dr.'s attitude towards them, are indicated in the following citation from 
LOT^ 423 f- "It might, no doubt, be supposed that Job, no longer 
irritated by the retorts of his friends, has reached a calmer mood ; and 
abandoning the attempt to discover a speculative solution of the perplexities 
which distress him, finds man's wisdom to consist in the /)rac/?Va/ fulfilment 
of the duties of life. But a serious difficulty arises in connection with what 
follows. If Job has risen to this tranquil temper, how comes it that he 
falls back (30^"'^) into complainings, and dissatisfaction at not having been 
justified by God (31^^)? And, further, if he has reached by the unaided 
force of his own meditations this devout and submissive frame of mind, 
how is the ironical tone of the Divine speeches (c. 38 ff.) to be accounted 
for? If he is already resigned to the inscrutability of the Divine ways, 
how does it need again to be pointed out to him? The difficulty is 
analogous to that arising out of 27''"^ : the changed frame of mind, which 
both appear to imply, is not preserved in the subsequent parts of the book. 
It is hardly possible that such a noble and characteristic passage can have 
been inserted into the poem by a later hand. May it be supposed, as was 
suggested above, on 27''^*, that Job's tranquil state of mind was conceived 
by the author as temporary only? It must, however, be allowed that 


there is an imperfect psychological basis even for a temporary recovery of 
calmness : Job is unmoved by all the arguments of the friends ; and no 
other independent influence (as in cc. 38-39) has been brought to bear upon 
him, . . According to Budde, Job's intellectual inability to reconcile his 
sufferings with his innocence having reached its climax in c. 27, he gives 
up the problem, explaining his incapacity from the fact that wisdom is 
reserved by God for Himself: what He has given to man under this name 
is a practical substitute for wisdom, not wisdom itself. Job, upon this 
view, accepts the ordinance of Providence, though not in a spirit of 
resignation, but in dissatisfaction and despair. This explanation brings 
the chapter into consistency with the context ; but it is open to the grave 
objection that (as Davidson, p. 201, already remarked) no trace of such a 
state of mind is discernible in the entire chapter : on the contrary, the 
writer seems to be stating, with an eloquence and warmth which cannot 
be misunderstood, the conclusions which satisfy himself. Cp. Di.^ p. 238, 
who, however, owns that the chapter so understood cannot state the 
ground (v.^ 'for') of what has immediately preceded, and is consequently 
obliged to assume that something diff"erent stood originally in the place of 
what is now 27^^"^ (p. 234). For another explanation of the for, see 
Peake, 245 f., or Enc. Bi. 2.0,^2." 

The argument of the poem is: 1-" Man by his marvel- 
lous inventions can discover the secret of the earth's mineral 
wealth ; the hidden treasure of darkness, which bird and beast 
cannot find (^^•), his eye discovers, and he brings forth to the 
light for his use ; ^^-w but where wisdom is, he cannot discover, 
being as helpless in this quest as birds and beasts, nor with 
the most precious things which he has won from the earth, can 
he purchase it ; 20-27 for wisdom has no home, or secret lodging, 
on earth ; it is known to God alone, who discovered it long 
ago, and by it made the world with all its marvels, ^s Qq^j 
does not part with this wisdom to man (for man's work is other 
than God's and needs it not), but commends to him as his 
wisdom to fear God and avoid evil — in other words, to take 
Job as his example (cp. i^). There is in the last v. a play on 
two different conceptions of wisdom ; wisdom is generally in 
Hebrew literature practical wisdom, and this wisdom, of which 
the greater part of Pr. 1-7 may be taken as an exposition, is 
that referred to in ^s as attainable by man and commended to 
him by God ; but the wisdom with which the greater part of 
this chapter is concerned is "the knowledge of the principles 
by which both the phenomena of the physical world (cp. Pr. 3^'-*f-) 
and the events of human life are regulated" (Dr.)— a concep- 

xxvin.] man's achievements and discoveries 235 

tion of wisdom which to Du. proves that "the author was as 
certainly acquainted with Greek ideas as Aristobulus and Philo, 
and may have lived in about the 3rd cent." 

Apart from the question already considered, whether this c. or any part 
of it can have formed an original part of the book, questions have arisen as 
to the original arrangement and extent of the poem itself: is it complete, 
or have parts of it been lost ? has it been expanded by the incorporation 
of inconsistent matter ? have any of the verses become disarranged ? 
The question of completeness is raised in part by the initial particle, in 
part by the unexpressed subject of ^'^^. " Surely " (v.^) is a doubtful render- 
ing of '3 : if the particle has its usual meaning, ybr or because, something 
obviously must have preceded it ; this may have been a strophe introducing 
the subject of man's attainments and expressly naming man. Du. suggests 
that the case is met by assuming that an initial refrain, found now {12. 20) 
only at the beginning of what he regards as the last two of the four equal 
strophes into which the poem was divided, stood originally also before ^ 
and '' ; this is at first sight attractive, though the resulting second strophe 
has been well criticized by Peake (on "•). The poem then opens with the 
question : where is wisdom to be found, for ^, since silver and gold have 
their place and can be discovered, so also should wisdom. But this does 
not overcome the difficulty of the unexpressed subject in '■^^, nor does full 
justice to the thought. Man is unquestionably the subject of ^*' '"'', and, in 
the light of this, other vbs., even if they were originally passive in form, 
must be understood ; consequently the thought is not merely : silver and 
gold and the rest can be found, wisdom cannot ; but : silver and gold and 
other secret and precious things, however hard to discover and acquire, 
can be discovered by man ; indeed the thought of man's fruitful activity 
and attainments is most naturally taken to be the dominant thought of ^'^^ ; 
and this finds a far more vigorous expression, if it was not introduced by a 
question suggesting man's limitations. First the poet brings into the 
highest relief the powers of man, and only then passes on with ^^^' to the 
limitation of human attainments. The most important question of expan- 
sion is connected with ^ and is discussed on that v. : a more extensive 
interpolation in the middle of the chapter has been claimed by Di. Bi. 
Hatch, Bu., though they are not all in agreement as to its exact extent. 
Hatch {Biblical Greek, 225) follows ffi in omitting ^*-^^ ; "the sequence of 
ideas is not in any way disturbed by the omission of the section ^*'^^ which 
amplify the main thought of the passage with singular poetical beauty, 
but do not add to its substance." Bu. omits ^'■-* {i.e. both less and more 
than (S) because they separate the similar vv.^^^"-, are poetically feeble 
(ct. Hatch), and, in asking what is the price of wisdom, presuppose its 
discoverability and are therefore inconsistent with ^^"'^. But it is rather a 
question of taste whether the idea of vv.^*-^^- is best emphasized by being 
exhausted in consecutive verses or by recurrence to it, and the logical 
objection to ^^'"^ would be inconclusive, even if it were as pointed as is 
suggested. As a matter of fact, the verses do not ask what is the price of 
wisdom, but say that at no possible price can man acquire it, and this is in 
entire sympathy with what has been already claimed to be the dominant 


* Surely there is a mine for silver, 

And a place for gold which they wash out. 

note of ^''^ ; in spite of all his attainments and acquired wealth, man cannot 
at any price obtain wisdom. Bu. also omits "•, and, perhaps rightly, ^* 
(see below). On the possible transpositions of lines in ^^'-y see below : two 
transpositions more related to the general thought of the c. may be men- 
tioned here : Du. places ^*, as applicable to man, after ^^, considering that 
in its present position it suggests as against the thought of the c. that 
wisdom is to be found on earth. Peake places ^^" after ^' ; but the contrast 
secured by their present position between man's superiority in knowledge 
to all other living things, and his inferiority to God is effective. 

I. By driving in shafts men obtain silver and gold ore from 
the dark (cp. ^) secret interior of the earth, and then, at the sur- 
face of the mine, after crushing the ore, they wash the pure and 
precious metal free from the other components of the ore. — 
Surely] or, rather, for; see above and phil. n. — Aftne] Palestine 
is poor in minerals, and mining, unlike agriculture, enriched 
the speech and literature of Israel with no figures or metaphors. 
The only other reference to mining in the OT. is Dt. 8^, w-here 
Canaan is described as " a land whose stones are iron, and out 
of whose hills thou mayest dig copper " ; the first of these 
clauses does not necessarily refer to iron mines, but the second 
clearly refers to copper mines (see Dr. ad loc). In part, at 
least, the poet is almost certainly referring to mines outside 
Palestine, which he may himself have seen when travelling, or 
heard of from others. Thus he may have had in mind the 
mines of Lebanon (iron : Seetzen, Reisen, i. 188-190) ; Idumsea 
(copper and "formerly" gold: Jer. in Lagarde, Onom. 109*"^); 
Midian (gold : Burton, Midian Revisited, i. 329) ; Upper Egypt 
(gold: Erman, Ancient Egypt, 463); Lycaonia (silver: EBi. 
s.v. Silver), and possibly even silver and gold mines of Spain, 
which were known to the Jews at least as early as the ist or 
2nd cent. B,c. (i Mac. 8^); but whether the copper mines of 
the Sinaitic peninsula, frequently referred to in ancient Egyptian 
inscriptions (Breasted, as cited below), were still being worked 
as late as the age of this poem is doubtful (Di.) : see, further, 
Di. EBi. DB, s.v. Mines ; and the reference under Mines to 
Egyptian sources in Breasted, Ancient Records, v. 144. — Wash 
out] as the use of the same vb. in 36^^ shows, the separating 

xxviii. 1-3.] man's achievements 237 

2 Iron is taken out of the earth, 

And stone is melted into bronze. 

process referred to here and in Mai. 3^(RV. " purge"), Ps. la''^^^ 
(RV. "purify"), i Ch. 28^8 29* (RV. ''refined"), is not by fire, 
but by water. In the second, no less than in the first line of 
the distich, the reference is to the skill of man in and about 
the mine. The brutal treatment of man by man in this work 
is not referred to (ct. 24^°^-). The following description, based 
on modern observation of ancient workings in Nubia, and the 
description given by Diodorus Siculus (iii. 11 ff.), may serve as 
an illustration of what may have been known to the poet by 
observation or report. 

At Eshuranib in Nubia, the plan of the workings of ancient gold mines 
is plainly to be seen. " Deep shafts lead into the mountain, two cisterns 
collect the water of the winter's rain, and sloping stone tables stand by them 
to serve for the gold-washing. . . . Diodorus describes to us the procedure 
followed in the working of these mines, and his account is confirmed by 
modern discoveries. The shafts follow the veins of quartz, for this reason 
winding their way deeply into the heart of the mountain. The hard stone 
was first made brittle by the action of fire, then hoed out with iron picks. 
The men who did this hard work toiled by the light of little lamps, and 
were accompanied by children, who carried away the bits of stones as they 
were hewn out. This quartz was then crushed in stone mortars into pieces 
about the size of lentils ; women and old men then pounded it to dust in 
mills ; this dust was next washed on sloping tables, until the water had 
carried off all the lighter particles of stone ; the finer sparkling particles of 
gold were then collected." — Erman, Lt/e in Ajicient Egypt, 463 f. 

2. As in ^, ^ refers to the separation of the metal from the 
ore, ^ probably to the extraction of the ore from the mine. 
Iron is taken . . . and stone is melted] the first vb. can be 
equally well, and the second is better, pointed as active (see 
phil. n.) : this would be in agreement with the following verses, 
and more forcible : render, therefore, (man) takes iron . . . 
and melts stone. — The earth] Heb. the dt/st (")3i;) : cp. " holes of 
the dust" {i.e. caves) in 30^; the shaft of the mine is a great 
artificial "hole of the dust." — Bronze] or copper, not brass: see 
Numbers, p. 278. — Stone] ore: cp. Dt. 8^. 

3. Even the darkness of the interior of the earth cannot 
hide its treasures, and so withhold them from man : if, as is 
commonly supposed, the writer is thinking of the darkness of 

238 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVin. 3-6. 

^ (Man) setteth an end to darkness, 

And searcheth out to every limit 

The stones of thick darkness and black gloom. 
* He breaketh open a shaft away from them that sojourn '' in 

the light ^ ; 

They that are forgotten by the foot (that passeth by) ; 

That hang afar from men, that swing to and fro. 
5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread. 

Yet underneath it is turned up as it were by fire. 
^ The stones thereof are the place of sapphires, 

And it hath dust of gold. 

the mine as dispelled by the daylight let in by the shaft, or, 
by the light of the miner's lamp, he scarcely knew by personal 
experience the feeble glimmer of daylight that reaches down a 
mine shaft, or the darkness made visible by the miner's lamp. 
But perhaps he wrote something more nearly resembling 
Du.'s emendation : Man has sought out the darkness to its 
furthest bound. He has searched out the stones of the deepest 
darkness : see phil, n. 

4. Another verse obscure in detail : probably it refers to 
man's skill in driving shafts into the earth, possibly also to his 
audacity in descending into the mine in cages that tremble 
on the rope. RV. is not a translation of f^ ; against RVm. 
( = AV.), if it refers to the flooding of a mine, and for various 
attempts to remove or elucidate the obscure details, see 
phil. n. 

5. Overhead, the peaceful operations of agriculture yielding 
bread (cp. Ps. 104^^): underneath, confusion and disorder — like 
that caused by fire, or (U) actually caused by fire, i.e. blasting 
— due to man's restless energy in digging in the bowels of the 
earth for its hidden treasure. 

6. Not only metals, but precious stones reward man's 
search into the earth. The v. is closely connected with i'-, and 
might have been expected to follow there ; Bu. omits ^^- as 
breaking the connection between * and ''. — Sapphires] lapis 
lazuli', see phil. n. — Ii\ the pron. is ambiguous, and might 
refer either to the place, to the sapphire, or (AVm.) to the 
mine: see phil. n., where Dr. decides in favour of the second 
possibility : the lapis lazuli has in it particles of iron pyrites 

xxvm. 6-11.] man's achievements 239 

^ The path (thither) no bird of prey knoweth. 

Neitlier hath the falcon's eye seen it : 
^ The proud beasts have not trodden it, 

Nor hath the fierce lion passed thereby. 
^ Upon the flinty rock he putteth forth his hand, 

Mountains from the root he overturneth. 
1° Among- the rocks he cutteth out passages ; 

And every precious thing his eye seeth. 
^^ He bindeth up the streams that they trickle not ; 

And the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light. 

which have the hue and colour of gold. A slight emendation 
gives : and its dust is gold to him (the miner). 

7, 8. The path to earth's secret treasures has been won by 
man only, not by birds with all their keenness of sight (cp. 
39-^), nor by the great and powerful beasts of prey. This, 
which must be the meaning of the verses if they are in their 
right position, seems ridiculous to Du., and unsuitable to 
Peake (see above). Even if, with Peake, we transfer the verses 
to follow i2j the mining operations are not described without 
interruption : between * and ^ would still stand ^ with its return 
to the description of the contents of the mine. — Falcon\ a 
keen-sighted, unclean (Lv. ii^*, Dt. i^^^^)h\r6.: not certainly 

9-II. Resumption of the description, begun in ^- ^, of the 
operations of the miner, given as illustrations of man's per- 
sistence through difficulties, however great, to his end — the 
acquisition of treasure. 

9. Neither ^ the hardness, nor ^ the mass of the rock, in 
which the treasure is concealed, can stay man, 

10, II. The lines of the two verses have perhaps suffered 
transposition (so Du.): 10a. 11a ^^^ parallels, and so also are 
10b. lib . 10b. iib^ if ^.^i^gn together after lo^. iia^ form a very forcible 
conclusion (more forcible without, than (Du.) with, ^^ added to 
them) to the description of man's attainments, and a striking 
preparation for the next paragraph : man discovers and brings 
to light everything hidden in the earth, but wisdom he cannot 

lOa, Iia. The miner defends himself against the dangers 
of a flooded mine by staying the water at its source (i^*), and, 

240 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVIH. 11-16. 

12 But where can wisdom be found ? 

And where is the place of understanding? 
^3 Man knoweth not the '' way ^ to it ; 

Neither is it found in the land of the living. 
^* The deep saith, It is not in me : 

And the sea saith, It is not with me. 
IS Sterling gold cannot be given for it ; 

Neither can silver be weighed as the price of it. 
!<> It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, 

With the precious onyx or the sapphire. 

perhaps (^°'^), by cutting channels t'n the mine to carry off the 
water harmlessly ; most, however, understand 10^ to refer once 
again to the passages m/o the mine. See, further, phil. n. 

12-19. ^" spite of all his discoveries (^~^^), wisdom lies, and 
always will lie, beyond man's ken {^^- ^*), or his power to buy 


12. Understanding\ n^a || to nrD3n as in Pr. 9^0 ; cp. naun 
II to riDDn in 1212, Pr. 3^3 31 — \^ ^W these of wisdom in, or 
accessible to, man. 

13. Way t6\ so ffi : cp. ** and ^3. ^ price of: see phil. n. — 
In the land of the living\ i.e. on earth, man's place during life, 
in contrast to Sheol (to which -^ refers), whither he descends at 
death : cp. Ps, 271^ 52^, Is. 3811 etc. 

14. As men traverse the sea they may see marvels (Ps. 
jQy23f.)^ but get no tidings of wisdom : its home is not in the sea. 

15-19. Cp. Pr. 3^^^- 810- 11 : there the wisdom that man may 
find is similarly, though more briefly, described, in order to 
give a due appreciation of the treasure which man may have 
without buying ; here the wisdom that cannot be found is thus 
described in order to show how impossible it is to acquire it at 
any price. 

16. The gold of Ophir] the most highly prized gold : cp. 22^*. 
— Onyx] Heb. shoham, a highly prized (cp. Ezk. 28^^) gem, 
found in the gold-producing land of Hawilah (Gn. 2^^'-) ; it was 
used for engraving (Ex. 28^), and was one of the gems used 
for the "breastplate" (Ex. 2dr^) and ephod (Ex. 25^) of the 
high-priest ; but whether it was the onyx (ffir here : U generally), 
or the beryl (53^ regularly ; fflr in Ex. 28-*^), or malachite (Myers 
in EBi. 4808) is uncertain ; see, further, Lex. EBi. DB, s.v. ; 

xxvin. 16-19.] man's achievements 241 

'■^ Gold and g-lass cannot equal it ; 

Neither can the exchang^e thereof be jewels of fine gold. 
'8 No mention can be made of coral or crystal ; 

And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls. 
^^ The topaz of Ethiopia doth not equal it ; 

Neither can it be valued with pure gold. 

also EBi. Stones [precious). — Sapphire] or strictly lapis lazuli, 

as v.^. 

17. Glass (see Smith's or Hastings' DB and EBi. s.v.), being 
highly prized in antiquity, suitably appears here; cp., for the 
same combination of gold and glass, Aristophanes, Ach. 73 f. 
iirtvofiev e^ vaXlvcov eKircofidrojv koI y^pvaihoiv. — Jewels of fine 
gold\ articles, especially perhaps the costliest ornaments, 
wrought in fine gold : with the phrase (rs ''^3), cp. 2nt ""^a (EV. 
"jewels of gold"), Gn. 24^3, Ex. 3^2 3522, Nu. 3i50. 

18. Coral\ nit^Xi, Ezk. 27^^ and ? Pr. 2^. Again the 
exact gem or precious substance intended is uncertain (see 
Lex. EBi. DB) : Di. infers from the difference in the verbal 
expressions in * and ^ that the objects mentioned in * are less 
costly than those in ^. On crystal^ see phil. n. — Acquisition] 
see phil. n. Yahuda (JQR xv. 704), taking Heb. tneshek = 
Arab, niasak (see phil. n. on 38^1), proposes : an armlet of 
wisdom (cp. Pr. i^ 3^2 52^) is more precious than one of pearls ; 
but this does not accord well with the thought that wisdom is 
unobtainable. — Pearls] EV. rubies. The Heb. Q'^jd occurs 
several times in comparison as the pre-eminently costly gem 
(Pr. 3^^ 8^^ 20^^ 31^'', Sir. 7^* 30^^). La. ^ apparently suggests 
that these gems were red (whence G— B. al. corals) : in spite 
of this, Bochart, Hierozoicon, part ii. bk. v. cc. vi. vii., argued 
at length in favour of pearls, the meaning adopted, among 
others, by Del.^ Di. Dr. "Rubies is the least probable rend, 
of the Heb. word ; and pearls on the whole the most probable " 

19. There is a repetition in ^ of the vb. of 1'^*, and in ^ of 
both the vb. and the subject (gold) of ^^* — the only cases of re- 
petition in ^^■^^. Du.'s suggestion is probable, that ^^^ is a 
variant of ^^a and ^^^ of ^^^. — Topaz] Ex. 2^^"^ 39IO, Ezk. 28^"^^: 
Uffi topaz. "As the modern topaz was hardly known before 


242 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVIII. 19-24. 

2^ Whence then cometh wisdom ? 

And where is the place of understanding? 

21 Seeing- it is hid from the eyes of all living, 

And kept close from the fowls of the air. 

22 Abaddon and Death say, 

(Only) with our ears have we heard the rumour of it. 

23 God understandeth the way to it, 

And he knoweth the place thereof ; 
2* For he looketh to the ends of the earth, 
And seeth under the whole heaven : 

Greek times, and is indistinguishable, except by its superior 
hardness, from ' false topaz ' or yellow rock-crystal, it is 
possible that the latter is meant " (Myers in EBi. 4503 f.). 

20-27- Wisdom, unknown to and unattainable by man ^^-19^ 
unseen and, at best, known only by rumour on earth and in 
Sheol, nevertheless has its place, and from before creation all 
its secrets have been completely known to God. 

21 f. Resumptive of '^^^•. Sheol has knowledge, which it 
can impart to the living ; but it has no knowledge of wisdom, 
which, in death as in life, man will for ever fail to find. 

21. All lwing\ Certainly includes and sometimes refers 
exclusively or at least mainly to men (12^° 30^3, Ps. 1432 145^^) : 
the line is thus substantially a repetition of ^^^. If a fresh 
point and a better parallel to ^ seem necessary, n^n ^53, every 
beast, must be read for ^r\~h'2, all livittg (Be.^) ; in this case the 
point is : no living creature other than man has knowledge of 
wisdom, though bird and beast at times have knowledge that 
man has not (cp. the Serpent of Genesis and Balaam's ass). If 
f&, is right, birds in ^ are singled out from " all living" in ** 
for special reference, as those that fly heavenwards, or as 
representing the air as a fourth region to earth ^^, sea ^*, 
Sheol 22. 

22. Abaddon and Death, as 26^ (n.). 

23. God, unlike man ^^, knows the u^ay to wisdom. The 
mode of expression is dictated by the antithesis, and is the 
easier for one who, like the author of Pr. 8, hypostatizes the 
divine wisdom. 

24. Deleted by Bu. ; transferred to follow ^^, when it would 
refer to man, by Du. : see phil. n. 


25 ""When^ he made a weight for the wind, 

And regulated the waters by measure ; 

26 When he made a decree for the rain, 

And a way for the flashes of the thunder ; 

27 Then did he see it, and recount it, 

He set it up, yea, and explored it. 

25-27. Wisdom was before the creation of the world (Pr. 
g22fl.^_ Creation is indicated by reference to four of its marvels. 
The incomparable intelligence or wisdom of God is handled 
somewhat differently but with some of the same illustrations 
and phrases in 38^*^-, Is. ^o^^-. 

25- At creation God assigned to the wind its weight — a 
maximum of force or weight when it blew w'hich it might not 
exceed ; and marked out with a measure the extreme limit to 
which the sea might overflow the land. — When he made\ ^ 
making or to make, connecting with ^i : see phil. n. 

26a. Cp. 38-^*; ^ is identical in both vv., but * is there more 
strictly parallel to ^ ; the decree (cp. Pr. 8-^) here corresponds 
to the measure and weight of "^ ; God determined at creation 
the laws of rainfall "when, where, how heavily" (Di.) it 
should fall. 

27. Again hypostatization of wisdom is as clear here as in 
Pr. 8 ; but the precise meaning of some of the vbs. is difficult 
to seize. Dr. {Book of fob, p. 81): "Wisdom is regarded here 
as a concrete object, or, as we should say, an idea of wonderful 
complexity, which, at the Creation (v. -^), God 'saw,' 'recounted,' 
or surveyed in all its various parts, 'established,' or set up, as 
though it were a model, ' searched out,' or thoroughly explored, 
and finally realized in the universe of created things." Similarly 
Du. : He set it up as a model for the work He had to do, and 
made proof of it in creation ; first was the X0709, the vov<^ ttoitjtl- 
k6^, then the execution (of the idea). Yet it is difficult not to feel 
sympathy with Da.'s criticism of similar earlier explanations : 
" It is . . . contrary to the poet's vivid conception of Wisdom, 
as a real thing or being, to suppose that it was ' established ' 
when embodied in the stable, permanent order of created things, 
as if, being merely an idea before, with wavering outlines, it 
then became fixed. Neither can the meaning be that God ' set 

244 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXVIII. 27-28. 

2^ And he said unto man, 

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; 
And to depart from evil is understanding. 

up ' wisdom before Him merely as an object of contemplation : 
much less that He set it up as a ' model ' after which to work 
in creating the world." Da. would give to the third vb. 
(n:''3n), which he renders "established" (as RV. e.g. in Pr. 
8-'^), the meaning gave it existence (cp., with a different vb., 
Pr. 8^2) ; but this idea would be expressed too late by the third 
vb., if the four vbs. express a succession of activities : the vb. 
at the beginning of the second line of the distich might, of 
course, be simply parallel in sense to and express the same 
activity as the first vb. ; but if this were so, nyan, he closely 
observed ity would be a more probable parallel than nran to 
nx"i, he saw it, in *. For recount, explore, see phil. n. 

28. Up to this point the c. has insisted without any quali- 
fication that wisdom is the exclusive possession of God, has no 
place on earth, and is not imparted to men (ct. ii^Sophar). 
In this, it differs strikingly from Pr. 8, where the real wisdom 
that was possessed and used by God in the creation of the 
world presents itself as discoverable also by man. As against 
the previous part of this c, ^^ agrees with Pr. 8 that wisdom 
may be found by men, although it differs in defining the 
wisdom that may become man's in terms inconsistent with 
its being also a possession of God : wisdom is here identified 
with the fear of the Lord and the avoidance of evil. There 
is thus, at least superficially, a gulf between the thought of 
'^'^'^ and of '^, and the only way to bridge it is to say that the 
author contemplates two different wisdoms : wisdom in God 
here conceived intellectually as including the understanding of 
the laws of the universe, unattainable by man, who must con- 
sequently remain without understanding of the universe, and 
wisdom in man, an ethical quality. God is thus represented 
here as saying to man : My wisdom cannot be yours, but 
your wisdom will be to fear Me : you cannot understand the 
universe which I have made, but you can fear Me like Job 
(i^), and avoid evil, and thereby find happiness and prosperity. 

XXVIII. 28-XXIX.] man's WISDOM 245 

But is this thought naturally expressed, and is the compatibility 
of the two radically different conceptions both expressed by the 
unqualified term "wisdom" really indicated? Or have we 
not rather the fundamentally different thought of a different 
writer simply laid alongside the preceding poem ? Again, is 
a writer who wishes to express the supposed line of thought 
likely to have handled one part of his subject, the unattainable 
wisdom of God, so elaborately and the other part so briefly ? 
The prosaic opening -^* and the lack of balance in ^sb. c ^j^q 
suggest that ^s is not from the same hand as the rest of the 

XXIX. -XXXI. Job's closing- monologue. — These cc. 
were not originally, as in the present text they appear to be 
(see Introduction and Introductory Notes to 26, 28), merely the 
final section of Job's last speech in the debate ; but the whole of 
what he says after the friends' contribution to the third round 
of speeches is complete. He now takes no further account of the 
friends; in his last, as in his opening speech (c. 3), he is concerned 
alone with himself and God (to whom, however, he directly 
addresses himself only in ^or^'^^). The speech falls into three 
parts : (i) a pathetic survey of his life before calamity befell 
him, when God guarded him, men honoured him, and he helped 
men (c. 29) ; (2) the tragic contrast of the present — God assail- 
ing, men reviling him, in his humiliation (c. 30) ; and (3) a 
solemn reassertion that not in him or his conduct was any 
justification for the change, leading up to his final assertion of 
his readiness to meet God ; this would appear to have been 
followed immediately, in the original poem, by Yahweh's reply 
(c. 38 ff.); but at present the speech(es) of Elihu (cc. 33-37) 
intervene. Thus the effect of Job's last speech has been doubly 
spoilt : by the dislocation or interpolation of what now im- 
mediately precedes it, and by the interpolation of what now 
follows it. 

XXIX. Opening with a wish (-) that he might be again as 
in his earlier years. Job depicts his happiness then, finding, as 
the quiet tone of this part of the speech, and the detail with 
which he fills in the picture (ct. c. 3), suggest, a momentary 
relief from the present in this musing on the past. 

246 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXIX. 1-4. 

XXIX. ^ And Job again took up his discourse, and said : 
2 O that I were as in the months of old, 
As in the days when God guarded me ; 

* When he caused his lamp to shine above my head, 

(When) by his light I walked through darkness; 

* As I was in the days of my ripeness, 

When God "^ screened^ my tent; 

1. As 27I (n.). 

2 ff. Job's reminiscences open with what was the ground of 
all his happiness — God's guardianship of him, God's friendly 
presence with him (2b-5a^ . j^g then very briefly refers to two 
immediate tokens of God's favour — his children gathered about 
him (^^), and the affluence of his life (^) ; he next dwells longer 
on the outcome of his affluence and of the manner in which he 
had used it — the esteem in which he was held by all, including 
the aged and the nobles (^~^^), and his practice of helping the 
weak and defenceless, making righteousness the warp and 
woof of his own life, and foiling violence and unrighteousness 
in others (i2-i7^ . j^g ^i^gri (is-20^ recalls how in those days he 
looked forward to an end so diff"erent from the present cruel 
reality — prosperity continuing right up to a peaceful death ; 
and he closes (21-25^ ^jj-j^ ^ return to the topic of ^"^'^, viz. the 
memory of the esteem which he had enjoyed, thus making a 
transition to what (30^*') he feels so keenly now — the contempt 
that has fallen upon him. It has been questioned whether 2i""25 
was originally separated from "^'^^ ; if not, and the chapter be 
rearranged in the order ^'^"^ ^^~^^ 11-20^ j-j^g transition to c. 30 is 
still good, viz. from Job's expectation of prosperity continued 
up to a long-deferred death to the present bitter contrast. 

2. Guarded me\ cp. Nu, 6^*, Ps. 16^ 91^^ 12 1'^^- ; ct. c. 13'^ — 
in all these passages the same vb. '\o'^, 

3. Cp. Ps. 18-^ ^28). Qq(J lighted a lamp above Job's head to 
shed its light upon his path, so that in the darkness he should 
not stumble over obstacles. 

4. Job's memory is not of his "spring" or youth, but of his 
maturity, of the rich increase of his life's "autumn," when the 
fruits of God's favour and his piety were being gathered and 

XXIX. 4-8.] JOB 247 

^ While yet the Almighty was with me, 

(And) round about me were my children ; 
® When my steps were washed with curds, 

And the rock poured me out rivers of oil. 
^ When I went out of (my) g'ate up to the city, 

(And) in the broad place prepared my seat, 
^ The young- men saw me, and hid themselves. 

And the aged rose up (and) stood ; 

enjoyed by him ; his children were about him (^^), but, as the 
Prologue shows, grown up ; and the position of authority and 
respect among his neighbours, on which he chiefly dwells, fits 
in well with the years of ripe manhood ; in certain connections 
the season of autumn or ripeness may disagreeably suggest 
winter and death, but it is part of Job's memory that in spite of 
the many years already lying behind him he looked forward to 
innumerable years yet to come (^). It therefore seems unneces- 
sary to emend away the term ripeness (see phil. n.). — When 
God screened^ so ffit; cp. 1^°: |^ when the friendship (cp. Ps. 25^*, 
Pr. 3^^: see phil. n. on. 15^) of God {rested) upon: see phil. n. 

5a. Nothing marred Job's welfare (^), nor had he any evil 
turn of fortune to fear (^^~^°), when God was still with (cp. 
Ps. 23^ 46^ etc.) him, protecting him and fending off evil, and 
not yet, as now (30^^), turned into his cruel opponent. — b. Cp. 
i2. 4f.^ — Children (d"'~ij;3) as i^^ (young men), and 2 S. 18'^^ of 
David's adult son Absalom. 

6. Job's land flowed with milk (cp. and ct. 20^'^) and oil — 
figures of his wealth. — Ctirds^ cp. 20^'^ n. — The rock] possibly 
corrupt ; if not, either: the rockiest portions of Job's land, which 
might naturally have been quite barren, or the rocky soil in 
which the olive flourishes, and the rock in which the oil-presses 
were cut out. 

7. Job's great estate (c. i) lay near a large (cp. ^"^*^) town; 
and in this large community he was held in the highest esteem, 
and in its affairs and in its public assemblies, held, according 
to the custom in Oriental cities, in the broad place (Ezr. 10^, 
Neh. 8^) or square within the city, he took a prominent part. 

8. When Job reached the assembly the young men present 

248 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXIX. 8-11. 

' The princes refrained from speech, 

And laid their hand on their mouth ; 
^° The voice of the nobles was "^dumb^ 

And their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. 
^ For when the ear heard, it called me happy ; 

And when the eye saw, it attested me ; 

withdrew into the backg'round, and even the aged, who had 
previously arrived and sat down, rose and remained standing 
till Job had taken his seat. 

9. 10. And men in the highest position kept silence in order, 
as 21 expressly states, if ^^~^^ originally followed ^°, to hear what 
Job would advise ; in this case ^"^"^ describes Job's entrance, 
21-25 j^jg speech and its effect : Bu. ; but see below. 

10. Dumb] 1^ erroneously (cp.^) hid themselves : see phil. n. 
II ff. These verses contain further vivid pictures of Job's 

past ; they also assign the reason for Job's position of esteem 
and authority (7-io + ? 21-25^ . ^uj- there is some little uncertainty 
as to the exact connection : of this and of the proposed trans- 
position of 2i"25j Dr. wrote: " Vv.^"^** describe the respect shown 
to Job in the assembly of his native place ; and the same thought 
is clearly resumed in ^^"-^ ; and Bu. Be. Du. St. Vo. would 
transpose 21-25 to follow '^^ : Job's dream of a happy old age 
(I8-20J would then be forcibly followed at once by the description 
of the bitter reality in 30^^-. On the other hand, it might be 
argued that the ground of the respect which Job enjoyed (i^^-) 
might be mentioned immediately after it was first referred to 
^8-io^_ The ground of his respect (^) is not merely (Bu.) the 
prosperity which he enjoyed, but the prosperity, combined with 
righteousness, which he used rightly, to succour the helpless 
and the needy (i2-i3j ; there is thus no occasion with Bu. to 
regard vv.^^"^^ as a gloss, suggested by a false interpretation 
of ' it attested me ' (^2T'j;n')), as though this meant witness to 
his righteousness rather than to his prosperity ; it was not his 
prosperity, as such, but just the beneficent use of his prosperity 
that gained him his res[:)ect." 

11. Attested me] i.e. bore witness to my wealth : cp. the 

XXIX. 12-18.] JOB 249 

12 For I delivered the poor who cried (for help), 

And the orphan and him that had no helper. 
1^ The blessing- of him that was ready to perish came upon me, 

And I caused the widow's heart to ring- out joy. 
1* I clothed myself with rig-hteousness, and it clothed itself with 

me ; 

My justice was as a robe and a turban. 
15 Eyes was I to the blind. 

And feet to the lame was I. 
1^ A father was I to the poor, 

And the cause of him whom I knew not I Investigated. 

17 And I broke the great teeth of the unrighteous, 

And from his teeth made him drop the prey. 

18 Then I said : "I shall die with my nest(lings), 

And make my days as many as the (grains of) sand ; 

12. So, with slight verbal variations and in the 3rd pers., 
Ps. 72I2. In 12M5-17 thg lig direct is given to the charges of 
EHphaz, 22*^"^. 

13. Him . . . ready to pensh\ imx, as 311^, Pr. 31''. 

14. It clothed itself in me] it filled or possessed me : cp, 
Jg. 6^*: "the spirit of Yahweh clothed itself in Gideon": I 
wore righteousness and righteousness wore me : see phil. n. 
For the figure of clothing-, cp. Is. ii^, Ps. 132°, of God, Is. 59^^. 
J?obe (i^^ n.) and turban (cp. Zee. 3^) represent complete dress. 

15. Job led (cp. Nu. lo^i) the blind, and helped the lame to 

l6b. A case at law Job was always ready to look into, 
whether he had previous knowledge of the person claiming to be 
wronged or not, and, if the case were good, to carry it through. 

Vj. The wrong-doer Job rendered harmless and deprived of 
his spoils: for the (implicit) figure, cp. Ps. 3^ 58''^^^ — Great 
teeth . . . teeth] Jl. i^, Pr. 30^^. 

18. With my nest] nest as in Dt. 32I1, Is. 16^, of the 
occupants of the nest; as he had lived {^^), so Job hoped after 
innumerable (cp. Hab. i^, Ps. 139^^: also Gn. 13^^) days to 
die, not merely in his nest (RV.), i.e. in his house, but with 
his nestling-s, i.e. surrounded by his children. Others render : 

250 THE BOOK OF JOB ( XXIX. 18-24. 

19 My root open to the waters, 

And the nig-ht-mist lodging in my branches ; 

20 My glory fresh with me, 

And my bow pliable in my hand." 

21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, 

And kept silence for my counsel ; 
2^ After I had spoken, they spoke not again, 

And my speech dropped upon them ; 
-^ And they waited for me as for the rain, 

And their mouth they opened wide for the latter rain. 
2* I laughed at them when they believed not. 

And the light of my countenance they cast not down. 

I shall die in my nest., And [then) like the phoenix tnake my days 
many ; or, / shall die in my nesty And [then) like the palm, etc. ; 
or emending, I shall grow old in m.y nest, And multiply my days 
as the sand', for a discussion of these and other suggestions, 
see phil. n. 

19. Ct. 18^^ (Bildad, of the unrighteous): with =^ cp. Ps. i^: 
on the reviving night-mist (38^^), see Is. 18* n. 

20. Conscious of his rectitude and kindness, and mindful of 
the maxim (Pr. 21^^) that those who make righteousness and 
kindness their aim find life and "glory," i.e. reputation among 
men, Job had trusted that his reputation and the position it 
gave him would never grow less, and that his power, symbolized 
by the bow, would remain the same (cp. Gn. 49^^). — Pliable] so 
Dr. (see phil. n.): Bu. sprotiting, the old, dry bow putting 
forth fresh shoots like Aaron's rod (Nu. 17-^®), which he thinks 
a possible hyperbole in poetry. 

21-25. The vv. should perhaps follow ^^ : see above. 

2I-23. Men waited silently for, and silently accepted. Job's 
advice, having no alteration or improvement to suggest, no 
desire to hear any one else ; for his words and advice fell upon 
men like fertilizing rain (cp. Dt. 32-), and were as eagerly 
expected and received as the latter rain (Dt. ii^*, Pr. 16^^, 
Hos. 6^) that falls in April and May, refreshing the ripening- 

24. "Job's clear-sighted counsel encouraged them, if they 

XXIX. 24-XXX.] JOB 25 1 

^ I chose out their way and sat as chief, 
And dwelt as a king- in the army. . . « 

were despondent : on the other hand (line 2), their despondency 
never clouded his cheerfulness " — Dr. {Book of Job). See phll. n. 

25. Their 'voay\ what was best for them to do. — In the army\ 
fi^ + ^-y one who comforteth mourners. 

XXX. 1-8. But now, in the present from which Job has 
just been wistfully looking back, the reputation he had hoped 
to enjoy up to his death has gone ; whereas the aged and the 
noble used to do him reverence (29^"^°), now youngsters (or 
inferiors or "shepherd-boys": see phil. n.) mock at him. ^b-s 
give, superfluously as it might seem, a detailed description of 
these mockers of Job (not of their fathers (i°), for see ^) : they 
are low-born, of poor physique, outcasts of ill-repute, driven to 
shelter in caves and to scrape a bare subsistence from the 
wilderness. In ^ but now is repeated, and the contrast between 
man's past and present treatment of Job is resumed and con- 
tinued to ^°, or, on one view of the interpretation of ii-is^ ^q 15_ 
Ag-ain in ^^ but now (in the present, but perhaps not in the 
original text) recurs ; this time, however, to introduce (if the 
description of viands treatment of Job extends down to ^^) a 
fresh form of contrast — viz. between the tranquillity and pros- 
perity and fair prospect of his past life and God's friendliness 
to him (292-^- is-20^^ and the pain and hopelessness and God's 
hostility in the present (^^~^^). Thus whereas but now in ^^ on 
one theory of interpretation would mark the beginning of the 
second main point of contrast, the same words in ^ are in any 
case merely resumptive of but now in ^ after a digression. 
How far such a digression is probable must be mainly a matter 
of taste; but a difference of tone also has been detected between 
the contempt expressed in ^"^ for, and the sympathy in 3115 
with, those inferior to Job. If for these reasons we assume 
interpolation (of matter perhaps displaced from 24^^-), it is 
better to omit ^"^ (Du.) in its entirety than only '^"'^ (Bi.) or ^"^ 
(Peake), thus eliminating the disdainful note of ^ (as well as of 
^^•), which Peake is ready to retain and excuse as due to Job's 
"too natural irritation"; then ^ introduces the contrast be- 

252 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXX. 1-4, 

XXX. ^ But now they have derided me, 
That were of less age than I, 
Whose fathers I disdained 

To set with the dog's of my flock. 
2 The strength, too, of their hands — of what good is it 

to me ? 
Within them firm vigour hath perished. 
2 With want and with famine (each) is gaunt, 
(Men), who gnaw the dry ground. 
Whose "^ mother^ (?) is devastation and desolation, 
* Who pluck salt-wort by the bushes. 
Whose food is the root of the broom. 

tween the former respect and the present contempt of the same 
people — the townsmen, young and old and noble. Peake, 
indeed, objects that these people are too remotely referred to if 
29 ended at ^o (not ^^); yet, the antithesis in 31^ with glory in 
29^° would be good. If ^ were resumptive of ^ we might rather 
have expected a different emphasis — ^rh nriyi or rh^ nn^JI, And 
now to such as these am I become a song ! 

I. The V. is badly articulated and perhaps corrupt : dS om. 
fathers. — The dogs of my fiock\ contemptuous: cp. Is. 56^°^-. 

2a. Du. : Yea the strength of their hands faileth. This 
improves the connection, and makes the description begin with ''. 
Alternatively ^^-^^ might be combined into a distich. 

3, 4. The reason for their weakness (2) : they were starve- 
lings, fed only on the scanty produce of the wilderness. 

3. Gna'w\ so (RV.) rather W\3,nflee into (AV.). — WJiose mother\ 
i.e. the source from which they get their nourishment : but the 
text and meaning are very uncertain : see phil. n. 

4. Salt-wort^ the Hebr. malhcah (cp. melah, salt) here has, 
since Bochart's exhaustive discussion [Hieroz. lib. iii. cap. xvi.), 
been commonly identified with the sea orache, Atriplex Halimus, 
L. : it has "small, thick, sour-tasting leaves, which could be 
eaten . . . but would form very miserable food " (Tristram, 
Natural History of the Bible, p. 486). —] i.e. under 
the shadow of the bushes where, when all else is dried up, a 
scanty vegetation still subsists. But the force of the prep, is 

XXX, 4-7.] JOB 253 

^ From the community they are driven forth, 

A cry is raised ag^ainst them as aijainst a thief; 

* In a gully of the wadys must they dwell, 
In holes of the earth and rocks. 

^ Among the (desert-) bushes they bray : 

Under the nettles they are huddled together. 

ambiguous. Possibly and leaves of (desert-') hushes should be 
read : see phil. n. — TJie brooni\ the Hebr. roihem, like the Ar. 
ratam, was a kind of broom, " the largest and most conspicuous 
shrub of these deserts " ; the roots are very bitter, and are 
regarded by the Arabs as yielding the best [cp. Ps. 120*] char- 
coal" (Robinson, Bibl. Researches, i. 299; cp. Hastings' DB ii. 
825). — Whose food^ Since an undesirable article of diet, and 
not an excellent fuel, suits the context, it is obviously unwise to 
render worh, with RVm., to warm the?n. 

5. These ill-fed starvelings are suspected of pilfering (cp. 
24^) ; if, therefore, they ever appear near the homes of the 
better-to-do, the cry of "thief" is raised, and they are driven 

6. They are ill-sheltered (cp. 24'^^-), as well as ill-fed (^'-j. — 
In a gully of the wddys\ or, less probably, in the most dreaded 
of wddys. 

7. They bray] not, as the same vb., with a different prep. 
in 6^, of their cry for or over their food ; nor of the impression 
made by their uncouth speech, in their assemblies (^), on the 
inhabitants of towns ; but probably, though this particular 
meaning of the vb. cannot be paralleled, of the cry of lust. 
The V. describes them " misbegetting as they were themselves 
misbegotten" (^: Peake): the parallelism is then excellent; they 
bray, like donkeys under the excitement of lust (cp. the neighing 
of the horses in Jer. 5^), and ^ copulate with no better bed or 
screen than the rough and scanty growth of the desert affords. 
— Nettles] " The rendering is uncertain; but, whatever the harul 
may have been, it must have been a plant characteristic of un- 
cultivated places (Job 30'^, Pr. 24^^). ' Thorns ' [the rendering 
in RV. of kimshonim] in Pr. 24^^ ought to be * nettles ' (cp. 
Hos. 9^, Is. 34^^) : hence harul, which stands in the parallel 

2 54 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXX. 7-10. 

^ Sons of the impious, sons of the nameless too, 
They have been smitten out of the land. 

* And now I am become their song, 

And I am become a (by-)word unto them. 
^° They abhor me, they keep at a distance from me, 
And they spare not to spit in my face. 

clause, must be something different: and in Syria.c harol signifies 
a veich {hence RVm.). On the other hand, Job 30'^ seems to 
require some kind of shrub : and whereas the present passage 
[i.e. Z f. 2^ implies that the harfd would grow on a poor or salt 
soil, vetches love a good soil. Tristram {NHB 475) suggests 
\.\\e Prickly Ac anthtis: Post {DB, s.v.) some kind of thorny shrub 
such as the Boxthorn, three species of which are indigenous in 
Palestine, and grow in waste places and salty soil" (Dr. on 

Zf. 2»). 

8. They are sprung from an accursed disreputable race, not 
fearing God and enjoying no esteem of man. On impious 
(2^'' n.), see phil. n. ; and for the attitude of the settled popu- 
lation to the homeless, wandering people of the deserts, cp. 
Gn. 4iif-. 

9. Perhaps the direct continuation of 29^^ or 2" : see on ^. — 
Their song\ La. 3'*. 

lOa. Cp. 19^^-^^. — In 7ny face] c^. Is. 50^; or, at the sight of 
?ne (but see phil. n.), which is more compatible with "they 
keep at a distance from me," unless we are content, with Di., 
in spite of the order of the clauses, to explain : "they step for- 
ward to spit in my face, and then immediately step back again 
to show their loathing of me." 

II-15. The text (see phil. notes) is so uncertain or am- 
biguous that it is impossible to determine with confidence 
whether these vv. refer (i) entirely to the treatment of Job by 
God and His hosts ; or (2) entirely to the treatment of Job by 
the men of ^'^^^^'^ or of 2g^-^^- 2^-25 ; or (3) in part ("'^j to God's 
treatment of Job, in part to the consequential conduct towards 
him of men (n^-is)^ and these (cp. i^c) the men of i-^^o). The 
translation above is accommodated to the first and, on the 
whole, perhaps the most probable view ; the third view. 

XXX. 11.] JOB 255 

" For my (bow-)string- he hath loosened, and he hath 

humbled me. 
And my "^ banner^ (?) from before me '^he^ hath '^cast 

downl (?). 

however, is favoured by two features of the existing text, viz. 
the change from the 3rd sing, in ^^"^ to the 3rd pi. in n^-is and 
the terms of ^^^'^ (they set forward my calamity, they that have 
no helper) which are applicable neither to God's hosts, nor to the 
men of c. 29; on the other hand, the activities described in ^^~^^ 
are not naturally connected with helpless (^^°) weaklings {^~^), 
and much of the existing text can only be defended by very 
artificial and improbable interpretation (see phil. notes). The 
second of the above views is only compatible with the existing 
text, if the sing, in ^^^ refers to a typical individual of the class 
referred to in the plurals that follow ; but such a meaning can 
be restored to the text by emendations no more extensive than 
those adopted above. If such were the meaning of the original 
passage it may have read, though in form ^^- ^'^^ is very sus- 
picious, somewhat as follows : 

^^ For, "^they^ have loosened '^ their ^ cord, and humbled me, 

And they have cast off the bridle before me. 
^2 Against ^ me 1 the (low) brood riseth up, ^ 

And heap up against me their paths of destruction. 
1^ They have broken up my path. 

They have helped forward my calamity, 
They have no helper 

(Or, there is none to "^ restrain ^ them) 
^* As through a wide breach they come on. 

Under the crash ^1^ wallow, 
^^ Terrors are turned upon me ; 

My nobility "^is driven away^ like the wind, 
And like a cloud has my welfare passed away. 

II. For] the change in the attitude of men (^- ^°) is due to 
God's hostility. — Mj' {bo'vo-)string he hath loosened] i.e. He (God 
unnamed as 3^'^ n.) has disarmed me, rendered me defenceless : 
ct. 29-°. If the K^tib his for my were correct, the meaning, as 

7C.6 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXX. 11-14. 

^^ Against ^me his lines (of warriors)! arise, ^ 

And heap up against me their paths of destruction. 


• ••»•• 

^''^ As through a wide breach they come on. 
^^^ Under the crash ^ I ^ wallow, 
^^ Terrors are turned upon me ; 

Del. pointed out, could scarcely be : God has prepared to 
shoot at Job (cp. ffi) ; but a violent and improbable anthropo- 
morphism : God has taken off the cord or girdle about his loins 
to chastise Job with it. Other interpretations are discussed in 
the phil. n, 

lib. Ba?iner . . . he] On the emendations, see phil. n. If 
the reference is not to God but to Job's human opponents (see on 
^^"^^), 1^ may be retained : ^hev have cast off the bridle, which 
used to restrain them from unseemly conduct in my presence. 

I2a. God's warriors (restored to the text by a slight emenda- 
tion) rise up against Job ^ ; and make ready, as besiegers, to 
storm him^. — Agaiiist me] |b? o?i the right hand. — His lines of 
•warriors] cp. ig^"-^^, and then with ^^b ^p^ igi2b ^ ^^^^ ^^^ 
brood is commonly explained of the base-born crew that take 
advantage of Job's misfortunes to humiliate him. Between * 
and ^ in "^ stand the words, My feet have they sent on, which 
has been explained to mean : they hunt me on from place to 
place ; but see phil. n. 

I3-I4a. The figure of ^^ is carried on and developed in ^* : 
God's warriors not only storm, but carry the fortress, pouring 
in through a breach in the walls so wide as to admit an irresist- 
ible number of assailants. The intervening lines in "^ fall out 
of the figure and are abnormally short ; they may conceal a 
parallel to ^^^ (see phil. n.). 

13a. They have broketi up 7ny path] i.e. "Job's path of life, 
which they seek to make impracticable for him (cp. 19^)," Dr. 
— b, C. See above on ^^"^^, and phil. nn. 

14. / wallow] cp. ffi ; '^ they wallow, or roll themselves, 
which has been explained to mean roll on irresistibly ; but see 
phil. n. 

XXX. 15-18.] JOB 257 

My nobility is '^driven away^ like the wind. 
And like a cloud has my welfare passed away. 

^" But now upon me my soul pours itself out, 
Days of affliction take hold of me : 

^^ By nig-ht my bones are corroded (and fall) away from me, 
And (the pains) that gnaw me lie not down (to rest). 


15. My nohility\ "Job's princely dignity and reputation 
^2gS-io. 21-25^^" j)j-_ — j/j, ioclfare\ or wealth, together with the 
esteem associated with it : cp. Is. 32^ {jioble, yii || wealthy, 
jnK>) : see n. there. 

16. But now\ see phil. n. and above on ^~^. — Days] read 
perhaps terrors or the like. 

17. By night or [and fait) away front me should perhaps be 
omitted (see phil. n.). — b. Translated as above, the line means: 
1 never get any alleviation from my pains, since they never 
retire to rest. Just possibly (see phil. n.) we should render My 
fleshless bones lie not down to rest, i.e. I, thus worn to the bone, 
cannot lie down even when night comes : for the attribution 
to the bones of personal activities, feelings and emotions, cp. 
^.^. 41^ (n.), Ps. 35'' Si'", Is. 661*. 

18. This V. appears to be hopelessly obscure or corrupt. 
The existing text has been translated and, with great improba- 
bility, explained to mean : By {the) great force, viz. of my 
disease, or by the great might (23*'), viz. of God, 7ny outer 
raiTuent is disfigured, owing to my body being emaciated, and 
my clothing, in consequence, hanging badly upon me : it (viz. 
my outer raiment) binds (lit. girds) fne about as tightly as 
the collar of my under garment', but the collar of the Hebrew 
under garment was not tight-fitting, and to render Job's 
g"arment ill-fitting seems a trivial effect of the mighty power of 
God — not to speak of other improbabilities in this interpreta- 
tion. If the V. referred to Job's emaciation affecting the 
appearance of his clothing, it would be better to read through 
{my) great leanjtess (cp. 16^) for by the great force ; but if the 
unfashionable set of Job's garments was due entirely, or as 


258 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXX. 18-20 

^^ [Behold, God] hath '^brought' me ^down ' to the ciav, 

And I am become Hke dust and ashes. 
2*^ I cry unto thee, and thou answcrest me not ; 

I stand (in prayer), and thou lookest not at me. 

some have supposed, partly, to swellings on his body, we might 
even, with Richter, introduce a hapax legomenon (nb for HD) 
into the text in order to secure a proper expression of the idea: 
through great swelling (of my body) my garment is disfigured ; 
but the difficulty remains that in '' while the vb. may, the com- 
parison certainly does not, suggest tightness of fit. Possibly 
the reference to garments are entirely due to corruption, and 
as ^^ spoke of the soul, ^^ of the bones, so ^^ spoke of the 
flesh (so, so far as ^^^ is concerned, Bu. : see phil. n.) ; or 
(so ffi in *) the text may have run : In (his) great might he 
(God : Ehrlich, Job's pain) seizeth my raiment; he taketh hold 
of me by the collar of my tunic (so Ehrlich and in part Sgf.) : 
in this case "the underlying image is that of pursuit by an 
enemy : the pursuer seizes him by his garment and (v.^^) 
throws him down " (Sgf.). 

19. God has so humiliated Job that he is no longer of any 
account. That both lines are metaphorical is more probable 
than that only one is, though some {e.g. Bu.) interpret * meta- 
phorically, ^ literally : God has so humiliated Job, that he, i.e. 
his diseased body, has a dusty appearance (cp. 7^). — Clay\ 
the word (T:n) is here a synonym of dust ("IDJ?) and ashes 
("i2X) : cp. 10^ 1312^19 2'^^^'. the rendering wz>^ (RV.) is, there- 
fore, slightly misleading ; and the line may be compared with 
16^^ more closely than with g^^. 

2O-23. Job now turns and addresses God, of whom he has 
just spoken in ^^ if not already from ^^ onwards. Job charges 
God with indifference to his cry, with actively enhancing his 

20b. The above translation, which gives complete parallelism, 
follows the reading of one MS only : the great majority of the 
MSS read / stand and thou (merely) lookest at me ; one MS 
and S TJiou standest and lookest at ine. See phil. n. For / 
stand, viz. in prayer, cp. Jer. 15^ 

XXX. 21-25.] JOB 259 

21 Thou art turned into one that is cruel to me, 

With the miyht of thy hand Ihou persecutest me. 

22 Thou liftest me up into the wind, causing me to ride upon it, 

And thou dissolvest me into the storm. 

23 For I know that to Death thou wilt bring me back, 

And to the appointed meeting-place for all living. 
2^ Howbeit, will not '^one sinking^ stretch out a hand? 

Or in his calamity i" will not one^ cry for help ? 
25 Is it that I wept not for the unfortunate. 

That my soul grieved not for the needy ? 

21. Thou art turned into] cp. Is. 63^°. — Persecutest] cp. 16^; 
ffi scourgest. 

22. God in His might and majesty may ride on the wind 
(Ps. 1811), but for man it is a giddy adventure, the prelude to 
(cp. ^ 23) destruction. The figure of Job as the sport of the 
winds is rather differently expressed in g^^ (27^^). 

23. Death] = The underworld, as 2822 al. — Bring me back] 
cp. i^^ n. With the phrase descriptive of Sheol in ^, cp. 3^'^-. 

24. '?!? is unintelligible : for attempts to extort a meaning 
from it, see phil. n. Emended as above, the v. is an apology 
for what Job recognizes to be a last fruitless appeal to God : 
drowning m.en catch at straws, and so Job, though (-■^) certain 
of death, still involuntarily cries out for help. By an alterna- 
tive emendation an entirely different meaning has been placed 
on the v., which then reads, 

Howbeit, have ^V not stretched a (helping) hand to "^the 

poor^ ? 
And ""was he not saved"" (by me) in his calamity? 
This would obviously go admirably with 25; and if it would 
come in abruptly, so also does -^ at present ; on the other 
hand, reading in -^ sb Qw^ for vh IN*, and rendering. If I have not 
stretched. . . . If I have ftot wept, both verses would fit well 
in c. 31 ; with the pf. tenses, cp. then 3120-21, 

25. The V. in its present position (but see last n.) is ex- 
plained as giving a reason for Job's cry for help (implied in -^^) : 
he had pitied others in their distress (cp. 2(^'^^~'^'^) ; why then in 
his own distress should he not appeal for compassion ? Du. 

2 6o THE BOOK OF JOB [XXX, 25-29. 

^^ For I looked for g'ood, and evil came : 

And I waited for lig'ht, and darkness came. 
■^^ My bowels have been made to boil, and are not silent ; 

Days of affliction have come to meet me ; 
^ I go about (in) dark (attire) '^uncomforted^, 

I stand up in the assembly crying- for help. 
28 I am become a brother to jackals, 

And a companion to ostriches. 

emends so as to make ^^ continue the thought of 2* as emended 
and translated above: "Or does not Hie^ weep that is un- 
fortunate? Is not ^thel soul "^of him that is ready to perish^ 
grieved ? " 

26. A (second) reason for Job's appeal : he is himself one 
of the class referred to in -^, and in -'' also as emended by Du. : 
all his hopes (cp. 29^^"^°) are perished. 

27. Aly bowels have been made to boit\ cp. "My bowels are 
in a ferment," La. i-*^ 2^^; there, of violent emotion at the dis- 
tress of Jerusalem ; here, of Job's emotion at his own calamities. 
or at the conflict between (-^) his hope of good and fear, or (2''^) 
actual experience, of evil. But -'''^ even so is not a very natural 
parallel to -^% is suspiciously similar to ^^^, and may have dis- 
placed a line more closely parallel (cp. La. i-*' 2^^) to ^. Bu. 
unnecessarily omits the whole v. — Are not sileni\ cp. of excited 
emotion, "my bowels sound, or make a noise," Is. 16^^; "the 
sounding, or noise (RV. yearning), of thy bowels," 63^^. 

28. I go about 171 dark attire\ so Ps. 38**: cp. 35^^; and see 
5^''^ n. — Uncomforted^ so, by a slight emendation, Du. ; fft 
without the sun^ which has been explained to mean in a sun- 
less, miserable condition ; or, taken closely with the preceding 
word : dark, not with sunburn, but disease : see phil. n. — 
In the asse?nbly] of those gathered around him (Del.), before 
people generally as many as are present about him, nearly 
(as Pr. 26"*^) = openly (Di.), or in the public assembly of the 
community — w-hether Job actually still attends it, or, as a leper, 
could do so, being of no importance (Bu.) : see also phil. n. 

29. Job's unalleviated and unpitied suflFerings call forth from 
him, and no wonder (2*), cries as melancholy as those of 

XXX. 29-XXXI.] JOB 261 

2" My skin is black (and falls) off me, 

And my bones are scorched with fever-heat. 

^^ And (the music of) my harp has turned into mourning", 
And that of my pipe into sounds of them that weep. 

jackals and ostriches (cp. Mic. i*^). — Jackals\ see EBi. s.v. ; 
others render wolves [DB i. 620/^). 

30a. See on 2'^. — b. cp. Ps. 102*. The v. with its reference 
to a couple of the symptoms of Job's disease may be misplaced 
(cp. Bu.). 

31. Job's harp and pipe instead of the merry and cheerful 
strains for which they were naturally adapted (21^'^) play now 
only the saddest airs. 

XXXI. Job solemnly repudiates all sin such as might have 
deservedly drawn upon him the overwhelming" misfortunes, 
which had turned his joy (c. 29) into mourning" (c. 30 : 30'^^). 
The repudiation consists of three elements : (a) a general 
claim that his life had been virtuous, with the grounds which 
had led him to the deliberate choice of virtue, ^"^ ; (b) a 
repudiation in detail of a large number of sinful deeds, feelings 
and attitudes, ^"^^, ^^'^^ ; (c) a passionate assertion of his readi- 
ness to lay bare before God the record of his life, and of the 
conviction of integrity which he could bring with him into the 
presence of God, '■^^-'■^''. At present (c) interrupts [b) ; but this 
must be due to misplacement, not, however, of ^^"^'^ from the 
beginning of c. 31 (Che. EBi. 2479), but of 38-40b. these latter 
vv. originally stood somewhere between ^ and •^^, but whether 
after v.'*^, Bolducius (1637) as cited by Del. ; after ^^, Bu. ; after 
^^, Honth. ; after ^'^, Me. Du. ; after ^^, Kennicott, or after ^*, 
where in the uncertainty they are placed in the present trans- 
lation, must be left undetermined. Having been accidentally 
omitted, the vv. were added at the close of the c. ; just as 
Is. 38-^^-, which originally stood after v.^ (see 2 K. 20"^-). Jt is 
possible (see n. on 30-^) that the c. has suffered further dis- 
arrangement, as Hatch, Bi. Du. argue. But (i) in spite of 
their absence from ffir, it is improbable that ^"* are an interpola- 
tion (Hatch, Bi. and Du.). For the vv. ring genuine, and if 
abrupt, are much less abrupt than ^"^* would be without them. 


XXXI. ^ I made a covenant with my eyes; 

How, then, could I (even) look upon a virgin ? 

(2) In ^"^* no suflficient means exist for restoring the original 
(if and in so far as it differed from the present) order. In 
these vv. and ^"^^ the repudiations of specific sins take the 
form of imprecations by Job on himself, if he had committed 
them ; but, as Bu. has pointed out, the " if" clauses occur 15 
or 16 times, the imprecatory clauses only 4 times (8- lO- 22. 40j . 
the relative infrequency of the imprecatory clauses may well 
be due in part to the fortunes of the text, but not entirely ; 
for there is at least much that is correct in Bu.'s further 
observation, that the "if" clauses are often combined into 
groups of similar C07tteyit ^■\^ 24.25.26^ 38. .39) 

followed by a single imprecation ; that at other times, as often 
elsewhere (G-K 149), the imprecatory clause is simply omitted ; 
and that at times (^^' ^^') the "if" clause is followed in lieu of 
an imprecation by a direct assertion that Job had pursued the 
very opposite course to that repudiated in the "if" clause. It 
would be a great mistake to reduce all this variety to the 
monotonous repetition of a single scheme. 

I-4. Job, at that time unshaken in the belief that the portion 
allotted by God to wicked men was invariably disaster (2- ^), 
and convinced that nothing in his life would escape the eye of 
God, had from the first made it his rule not even to allow his 
eyes to wander where the lust of the eye might tempt him on 
to sinful act. 

I. I made a covenant witJi\ or, rather, I iyyiposed a covenant, 
or ride, on, the prep, being not Dy (see Lex. 503*^), used when 
equal contracting parties are concerned, but ^ {ib.) of the 
superior granting conditions to another: cp. e.g. 2 K. \i^-'. 
"Jehoiada made a covenant with (^) them, and made them 
swear . . . and commanded them, saying. This is the thing 
that ye shall do." The terms of the rule imposed by Job on 
his eyes is not directly given, unless a virgin (n^inn) is merely 
a corruption of some general term such as n^3:, for wickedness, 
impiety (Pcake) ; but in any case -f- suggest that the rule was 
perfectly general ; and, in the present text, ^'' by the rhetorical 

XXXI. 1-5.] JOB 263 

2 For what is the portion (apportioned) by God from above, 

Or what the heritage (given) by the Ahnighty from the 

heights ? 
' Is it not calamity for the unrighteous, 

And disaster for the worl<;ers of iniquity? 
* Doth not he see my ways. 

And number all my steps ? 
^ If 1 have walked with insincerity, 

Or my foot hath hasted unto deceit ; 

question (see phil. n.) indirectly indicates its nature, instancing 
one of the subtler temptations against which the general rule 
was directed (cp. Is. 33^^, Ps. 119=^"), Du. amends, unwisely: 
made a covenant . . . not to look upon a virgin ; Job's 
covenant was much wider than this ; and ^ does not exhaust 
but illustrates its application : for example, I refrained from 
even looking upon (cp. Is. 33^^^, Ps. 119^'') a virgin; a fortiori 
from unchaste acts I kept myself free. The comparison with 
Mt. 5-8 is interesting, but the ethical judgment is not quite the 
same; for here the look is avoided not as being in itself sinful, 
but as liable to lead on to outward conduct, the " ways" and 
"steps" of v.'*, and therefore to the punishment of sin (cp. 
Ecclus. 9^). 

2. Cp. 2o29 27135- At the time when Job made his rule of 
life, he still held by the current doctrine of sin and suffering 
which had been maintained by the friends in the debate, and 
had been unquestioned by himself till his personal experience 
showed its falsehood. This doctrine then restrained him : 
cp. 14- 23. 28. 

4. He\ emphatic : he whose general principle of action is as 
indicated in 2- s ^nd who, therefore, will punish me, if my ways 
are wrong. — b. cp. 14^^. 

5-8. First section of the special repudiation: vv.^-'^ "if" 
clauses, ^ parenthetic, ^ imprecation. Repudiation of dis- 
honesty and C^ ?) covetousness. 

5. Walked wit/i\ made a companion of. — Insincerity\ or false- 
hood (NIK', as Ps 12^ 26^). — Unto deceit] to commit some act of 
deceit or fraud (cp. Is. 59''), or, possibly, with personification 


® (Let me be weighed in just scales, 

And let God know my integrity:) 
^ If my step turned out of the way, 

Or my heart went after my eyes, 

Or "^ought^ clave to my hands, 
^ Let me sow and another eat. 

And let my produce be uprooted. 
' If mine heart was enticed on account of (another's) wife, 

Or about the door of my neig-hbour I lay in wait. 

as in % to (the home of) deceit, to make myself the housemate 
of deceit. 

6. Job is not himself a fraud ; if weighed he will be found 
full weight : cp. i^ n. 

7. Job ^ had never departed from the way of rectitude, nor ^ 
consented to deprive his neighbour of anything of his that his 
eyes coveted, nor ° had any fruit or stain of unjust gain or 
fraud ever stuck to his hands : this, in view of ^, seems the 
more specific thought lying behind the rather general expres- 
sions. With ^, cp. 23^^. — After my eyes] cp. Nu. 15^^; even 
if '^ is inconsistent with ^, it is not an inconsistency that calls 
for removal. — Ought] '^ a spot. Cp. Dt. 13^^, i S. 12^; see 
phil. n. 

8. If Job had deprived others of what was rightly theirs 
(^- '^), let him be deprived of the fruit of his own labours. Cp. 
5^ 27^^^- ; for the proverbial phrasing of *, cp. Dt. 28^*^. — 
My produce] so (RV.) rather than 7ny offspring [KWin.): see 
phil. n. 

9 12. Second section: repudiation of adultery: ^ ** if" 
clause, ^^ imprecation, ^^*' comment on the heinousness of the 

9. Job had never lurked about his neighbour's house, 
secretly watching till he should go out and Job so obtain access 
to his wife : cp. Pr. 7*^- ^- ^^. — About] in some cover in the 
neighbourhood, from which he could watch who came out of 
the door; not at (RV. ; see phil. n.), i.e. in, or immediately in 
front of, the doorway, where the husband coming out must see 

XXXI. 10-12.] JOB 265 

^^ Then let my wife grind for another, 

And let others bow down upon her. 
^^ For that were wickedness, 

And that were iniquity (to be punished) by the judges : 
^■' For that were a fire that would consume unto Destruction, 

And would ^ burn ^ all my crops. 

10. Grind for another^ become another's meanest slave 
(cp. Ex. 11^, Is. 47^, Jg. 16-^); so fH ; fi? will also, and was 
probably intended to, bear a meaning parallel to ^ (see phil. n.). 
But whichever way * be taken, it probably implies that Job's 
wife in the supposed but unreal case is not of her own will to 
be unfaithful to him, but to fall a victim to another's violence : 
cp. Dt. 28'^*^. "It does not satisfy our ethical sense that for 
Job's offence his wife who had no share in it, but was rather 
herself the sufferer by it, should bear the greatest part of the 
punishment : that is only possible because the wife still counted 
essentially as the man's property," Du. 

11. Wickedness\ the term (HGT) is a strong one (Hos. 6^, 
Pr. 2i"^^), used especially in connection with sexual offences 
(Lv. 18^'^ 20^*, Jg. 20*^). — b. A flagrant offence not only 
subject to the divine punishment, but dealt with by the magis- 
trates and the criminal law (Lv. 20^"). 

12. For\ parallel to for in ^^ and giving a second reason for '^^ ; 
but in ^"^ it could be well spared, ^'■^ being then climactic to ^^ 
For adultery as a fire consuming the adulterer, see Pr. 6^''"^^ : 
cp. also Sir. 9^. — A fire that would consume unto Destruction] 
a fire so fierce that it would not burn itself out till it had 
burnt down to Sheol : cp. Dt. 32"-. — Destruction^ Hebr. 
Abaddon, as 26^ (n.). — B^irn] '^ uproot, — Crops\ li crops is 
rightly read here, the misplaced section ^^''^^ dealing also with 
Job's agriculture may have originally followed ^-. 

13-20. Third section : repudiation of having disregarded 
the claims of [a) his own slaves, '^■^"^■^ ; [b) others in need — the 
poor, the widow, the fatherless, i<>^20_ yj-jg section contains 
several " if" clauses (i3- 1<5. if)^ ]-,^j^ ^q^ 20^ interspersed with vv. 
indicating principles restraining or guarding Job's conduct ; 
but the imprecation is lacking, for the imprecation in ^^ too 

266 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXI. 13-17. 

^2 If I rejected the cause of my slave, 

Or of my maid, when they contended with me — 
1* What then shall I do when God riseth up? 

And when he cometh to inquire, what shall I answer him? 
^^ Did not he that in the womb made me make him? 

And did not one fashion us in the womb ? 
^^ If I withheld ought that the poor desired, 

Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail ; 
^•^ Or ate my portion (of bread) alone, 

And the fatherless ate not thereof — 

exclusively corresponds to ^^ to be regarded as referring- to the 
whole group of repudiations in i3-2i_ 

13. Job had never treated his slaves despotically, but had 
been governed by the thought (^^) that the same God who 
had lavished such care on him in the womb (cp. lo®^-) had 
lavished no less on his slaves ; before the law slaves had some 
(Ex 21^"^^), but few rights; but Job, when his slaves had 
anything to urge against him, even though they might ha\ e 
been unable to make of it a case at law against him, did not 
turn them contemptuously away, but examined the case as 
that between fellow-creatures of one God, and, so far as might 
be, as he expected God would judge it at His assize (^■*). 

14. Riseth up] to judgment ; see phil. n. — Cometh to inquire] 
npD as 7^^ (see n. there). 

15. Cp. Mai. 2^^. — The ethical standpoint of the v. (see on 
^^) is very remarkable, and a striking illustration of the influ- 
ence of the conception of God on conduct. In the luoinb is 
emphatic: earlier (lo^^-) Job had argued that all the marvel- 
lous care lavished by God on him in the womb gave him a 
right to be surprised at God's present dealings with him, which 
seemed to be purely destructive ; here a similar line of argu- 
ment is implicit : what God has fashioned with care must be 
treated with care and respect by God's other creatures. 

16. Ought that the poor desired] or, the poor from [what they) 
desire{d). — The eyes . . . to fail] through looking in vain for 
help : cp. 11^''. 

17. Job shared his plain and simple everyday fare with the 

XXXI. 17 21.] JOB 267 

^^ For from my youth like a father he brought me up, 

And from my mother's womb ^ he ^ led ^ me ^ — 
^® If I saw one ready to perish for lack of clothing, 

And that the poor had no covering, 
^^ ^ And ^ his loins blessed me not. 

And with the fleece of my sheep he obtained not warmth : 
-Mf I have swung my head against the ^ perfect \ 

When I saw my help in the gate, 

fatherless : not merely on occasions of sacrifice when there 
was special and ample fare, but daily when his meal, according 
to custom (Novvack, Arch. i. logfT.), consisted mainly of bread 
(cp. the contrast in Pr. 17^), Job had shared his food with the 
fatherless. — Portion^ (nc) denotes a piece of bread broken off 
the loaf (Lv. 2^), especially with a view to being consumed at 
a meal, but not necessarily a small portion (EV. "morsel"), 
for see 1 S. 28'^^, 2 S. 12^, Ru. 2^*. 

18. Job's care for the needy (i'^) rested on another (cp. ^^) 
principle of religion, viz. gratitude for God's fatherly care of 
himself from his earliest days (cp. Ps. 22'"^-), and the conse- 
quent desire to be like God in his conduct towards his 
needy fellow-men. The v. so read (see phil. n.) and understood 
is a little abrupt : unless with Du. we place ^* (which mentions 
God) between ^^ and ^^. But |^ (EV.) is not less abrupt: — 
(It was not the case that I disregarded the fatherless) for (on 
the contrary) from my youth up he grew up unto me as unto 
a father, and from my mother's womb I led her {i.e. the 
widow, ^^) ; or, emending ^ (so as to avoid the strange picture 
of Job from his babyhood guiding widows), and from his 
mother's womb I led him (the fatherless, as in *). 

19. Ready to pensfi] 29^^ n. — For lack of clothing . . . no 
covering] 24'^. 

20a. Cp. 2913a. _^„^] -^ if, 

21-23, Fourth section : repudiation of having smitten with 
his hand him in whom no fault was to be found. V.^^, "if" 
clause ; --, imprecation on the off^ending part of Job's body ; ^^, 
reason for Job's conduct — the fear of God's lofty justice. 

21. Siviing my hand] in order to smite: cp. Is. ii^'^' 19^, 

2 68 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXI. 21-25. 

^^ May my shoulder-blade fall from its shoulder, 

And may my arm be broken from its socket. 
23 For the dread of God [restrained me], 

And by reason of his loftiness I could not (do so). 
2* If I made gold my hope. 

Or to fine gold (ever) said, (Thou art) my confidence; 
2^ If I rejoiced because my wealth was great. 

And because my hand had secured much : — 

Zech. 2^3. Job had not used undeserved violence, though he 
might in doing so have relied on his influence (cp. 29'^^*^-) to 
parry a charge brought by the injured party before the elders 
sitting for judgment in the gate-'wa.y (cp. 5* n.) of the city. — 
Perfect^ ^ orphan : see phil. n. 

22. Socket\ see phil. n. 

23. Du. places this v. after ^^, Bi. after ^*. — a. fi,^ For a 
terror (coming) unto me was the calamity (^*) of God ; see 
phil. n. — Loftiness] 13^^. 

24 f. Fifth section. "If" clauses without an expressed 
imprecation. Job repudiates the idolatry of wealth as in -*^ 
another form of idolatry. He had no need of Eliphaz's exhor- 
tation (222'^--^) ; for all along he had put his trust not in gold, 
but — this is implicit — in God. — Hope \\ confidence] '&-^. God 
(as implicitly here) is the ground of hope (^D3) in Pr. 3^*^, 
Ps. 78'^, oi confidence (n::iao), e.g. in Ps. 71^, Jer. \'f '. cp. 
especially Ps. 40^, " the man who maketh (Q^'H as TIDE' here) 
Yahweh his confidence." 

26-28. Sixth section : repudiation of having yielded to the 
temptation to worship the sun and moon. -*'^-, "if" clauses; 
no expressed imprecation follows, but ^^ (cp. ^^) emphasizes the 
heinousness of the offence. The worship of the heavenly bodies 
becomes prominent in Judah in the 7th cent., and would appear 
to have been prominent in the age of the poem, since it is the 
only form of outward idolatry specially repudiated. This 
prominence it is unnecessary, if not indeed ill-advised, to attri- 
bute to Persian influence ; for, as Du. observes, the special 
prominence given to the majestic appearance of the 7noon may 
be Semitic rather than Persian. The direct appeal of the 

XXXI. 26 27.] JOB 269 

2^ If, seeing the sun when it shone, 

And the moon moving- gloriously along', 

2^ My heart was secretly enticed. 
And my hand kissed my mouth, 

beauty and awe of the heavens to the writer is obvious ; but, 
like others (Ps. 8, 19; cp. Dt. 4^^) of similar sensibility to 
these impressions, he does not confound the moon with the 
Maker : these glorious bodies of light are God's creatures, 
their glory a witness to Him ; to worship or pay homag-e to 
them is tantamount to denying the one true God, the creator 
of all. The passag^e is a striking illustration of the writer's 
convinced monotheism. Cp. the more direct development of 
the idea in Qor. 41^'^ 6'^^ (cited by Davidson). 

26. The su7i\ the term liN, commonly light or bwiinary, is 
best understood here of, or with special reference to, the sun 
(II the moon) : cp. 37-^ Hab. 3*. — Shone] or (note the impf.) 
began to shi?ie, the reference being to the salutation of the 
rising sun in particular: cp. Tac. Hist. iii. 24, et orientem 
Solem (ita in Syria mos est) tertiani salutavere ; and in the 
hymn to Aton (the sun) by the Egyptian king Ikhnaton 
(c. 1400 B.C.), "when thou risest in the horizon . . . the two 
lands are in daily festivity . . . their arms uplifted in adora- 
tion to thy dawning-" (see, e.g., Breasted, History of Egypt, 372). 

27- Secretly] seems rather otiose, since the movements of 
the heart are essentially secret : in any case the repudiation is 
not of secret idolatry, an idolatry of the mind only, but of a 
particular idolatrous act ^, for which (^8) the judges could exact 
a penalty (Dt. 17^^-). — My hand kissed my mouth] so as to throw 
a kiss to the sun or moon : the hand rather than the mouth is 
made subject of the vb., as being more active in throwing 
kisses. Kissing idols with the mouth as an act of adoration 
seems to be referred to in i K. \<^^, Hos. 132; and the act of 
throwing kisses to objects of worship, though not again alluded 
to in the OT., is frequently attested elsewhere : see S. Langdon, 
•' Gesture in Sumerian and Babylonian Prayer," in the Journa. 
of the Royal Asiatic Society^ iQ^Qj PP- 531-555 (with many illus 

270 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXI. 28-31. 

''^^ That, too, were inicjuity (to be punished) by the judges: 

For 1 should have lied to God above. 
'^^ If I rejoiced at the ruin of him that hated me, 

And '^shouted for joy^ when evil found him ; 
^^ Neither did I suffer my mouth to sin, 

In asking his life with a curse. 
^^ If the men of my tent said not, 

'* Who is there that has not been sated with his meat?" 

29 f. Seventh section : repudiation of having found pleasure 
in an enemy's misfortune, or of having attempted by cursing 
to secure his destruction. ^^, " if" clause : ^^, direct denial : no 
expressed imprecation. With the standard of conduct towards 
personal enemies here expressed, cp. Ex. 2^^^-, Pr. 20^2 24^^^- 
252"- ; ct. Bildad's standard in 8-'^ and that expressed in the 
words of 27'' (wrongly) attributed to Job. How far the so- 
called imprecatory Psalms {e.£: 58, 109, 137) betray an exactly 
contrary temper, depends on the extent to which in them purely 
personal enmity is subordinated to national and religious 

29. Shouted for jojiP^"^ stirred myself up, in joy : otherwise 

30. Not really parenthetical (RV.); but the direct negation 
of another sin is simply added by the copula to the indirect 
negation of v.^^ (so without the conjunction ^^ is direct asser- 
tion after ^^ indirect assertion) : I did not rejoice at the ruin of 
my enemy, neither (AV.) did I curse him; the Yea of RV. is 
unsuitable ; •^° is not climactic ; the more striking disavowal is 
that of 2^. — In asking his life\ i.e. in asking God to take the life 
of his enemy; cp. t K. 3^^ 19'*. 

31 f. Eighth section : repudiation of having ever shown less 
than universal and unstinted hospitality. ^\ "if" clause; ^■^, 
direct statement : no expressed imprecation. 

31. "^ in ^ may be rendered, lomild that there 7vere one not 
sated ivith his flesh, that our master might be gratified by finding 
yet another recipient of his hospitality. In any case the point 
is : Job's hospit;»lity had been so universally and richly shown 
to all strangers and passers-by (-^^j that the me7i of his tent, i.e. 


XXXI. 31-33.] JOB 

^'^ The sojourner passed not the ni^ht in the street, 
My doors I opened to the wayfarer. 

^^ If I concealed . , . my transg-ressions, 
In hiding- mine iniquity in my bosom ; 


his household and entoura^^e, had asserted in praise of it that 
no one was to be found who had not eaten to his fill of Job's 
festal fare. Job, speaking of himself in i^, refers to his every- 
day fare of which the staple was bread ; his household, speaking 
in praise of him, refer to exceptional fare, not eaten every day, 
viz. the flesh of animals (sacrificially) slain on special occasions, 
including commonly the advent of guests. — Flesh] a meat diet : 
cp. e.g. Nu. 1 1'*, Dt. 12^^ I S. 2^^-'», I K. 17^. 

32. Cp. the narrative of Gn. ig^^-, Jg. igi^-^i. 

33 f. Ninth section: repudiation of hypocrisy. The whole 
is subordinate to the "if," and there is no expressed impreca- 
tion. The form of the section is suspicious, and the expression 
of the thought a little strange. At present a distich {^^) is 
followed by a tristich (^^) : this is certainly not improved by 
omitting ^^^ with (G, and (with Du.) separating the obvious 
parallels (3**- ^) from one another, in order to obtain in appear- 
ance two distichs, ^^- ^^'^ and ^^'^- °. Nor is 3^° to be taken with 
^^^\ (Bi.). If the tristich is intolerable, it would be better to 
omit ^^"^ or to assume the loss before it of a line parallel to 
it. Moreover, at present ^s-''- '' are good parallels, the construc- 
tion, to which Du. takes exception, being- as in ^^, to which he 
takes no exception. What Job appears to assert here is not 
that after committing sins he publicly confessed them, but that 
not having committed transgressions he had none to conceal ; 
in mingling freely, as he had done (29'^-), among men, he had 
been secured against fear of being condemned by tlie crowd, or 
losing the esteem of the clans of his own and neig-hbourino- 
tribes, not by a skilfully maintained hypocrisy, but by a 
conscience wholly void of offence. 

33- If I concealed] what follows in ^] has been rendered like 
Adam, who, however, did not conceal sin through fear of men 
(^^), or like {ordinary) men, which would cast a quite uncalled 
for reflection on the rest of mankind. Slightly emending, we 

2 72 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXI. 33-34. 

^' Because I dreaded the great multitude, 

And the contempt of the clans terrified me, 

So that I kept silence, not going- out of the door ; 

may obtain from men, which would be suitable, but before ^^ 

34. ^' "" The reasons which might have induced Job to conceal 
his transgressions, if he had committed any ; " describes what 
would have been the consequence of the supposed action : as 
a matter of fact Job did not remain at home. — Kept silence] or 
rather, perhaps, kept still (qdt as in Jos. 10^-, i S. 14*^). 

38-40. Tenth section (wrongly placed after ^^"^^ ; see above 
p. 261 f.): repudiation of having committed any wrong in his 
agriculture. ^^^•, "if" clauses parallel to, or closely related to, 
one another : '**', imprecation. What precise wrong Job is here 
repudiating is not clear. Certainly, if ^^ were not followed by 
^^ it would be attractive with Du. to think of unfair exhaustion 
of the ground by depriving it of its year of rest (Ex. 23^*^^-, Lv. 
2^2,1. 26^'^^-), or the violation of some taboo such as the sowing 
of the land with two kinds of seed (Lv. 19^^). In this case the 
imprecation corresponds closely to the sin repudiated, but it is 
arbitrary with Du. to reject ^^ as an ancient and incorrect 
attempt to explain ^^ ; for ^^ reads as anything but a gloss, and 
its own unusual phrasing calls for explanation. Is it possible, 
however, that ^^ is consistent with ^^ as explained by Du. ; is 
the mo7tey or payment of ^^ a payment in discharge of re- 
ligious claims connected with the land ; and are the oimiers of 
^^''j the spirits of the land, the elves or the like, to which some 
have found allusion in 5-'^ ; and instead of caused . . . to expire 
should we render grieved or disappointed ? Unless we can 
admit this, we must start with the common interpretation ot 
"^^y and explain ^^ in accordance with it : ^'^^ then means that 
Job had not withheld their wages from those who had worked 
the land for him, or the purchase price from the /(?/'/«^/' owners 
^39b^ of his fields ; and ^'''^ that he had not, in violently appro- 
priating (Is. 5^, Mic. 2^) the land, slain the former owners out- 
right (cp. the case of Naboth, i K. 21), or caused them through 
loss of their patrimony to die of want. In this case ^^ means 

XXXI. 37-40.] JOB 273 

^^ If ag'ainst me my land cried out, 

And llic furrows thereof wept tog'ellicr; 

^^ If I have eaten its produce without paying-, 
And caused the owners thereof to expire ; 

^° Instead of wheat let thorns come forth, 
And instead of barley stinking^ (weeds). 

that the land cries out for vengeance for a crime not committed 
directly against it, but on it, or in connection with it, against 
others. Certainly, in the nearest parallels, it is not the land, 
but the blood shed on it that cries out (16^^, Gn. 4"^) ; but since 
blood profanes (Nu. 35^^ n., Dt. 32*^, Ps. 106^^) the land on 
which it is shed, we may perhaps infer that the land itself 
could be regarded as wronged by such crime, and as itself 
crying out for vengeance, and perhaps even as weeping (^^^), 
though this last would certainly be more naturally said in the 
case of a wrong more directly and exclusively done to the land : 
with the cry in this case, cp. the cry of the stones, apparently 
of buildings built or procured violently and unjustly, in Hab. 2^^. 

38. Against me\ emphatic : unlike that of some men (on the 
usual interpretation of ^^^•, cp. 24-), none of my ground had 
cause to cry for vengeance. — My land] the phrase is most 
natural on Du.'s interpretation (see above) ; on the usual inter- 
pretation it means that part of my land which I had obtained 
by fraud or violence. 

39. Produce] lit. strength', so Gn. 4^^. — Payhig\\\t. silver^ 
mo7iey. — Owners] or owner: cp. Ex. 21-'', Is. i^; G-K. 124 i. 

40. On account of the murder of his brother, the land 
tilled by Cain was no longer to yield its strength ; the im- 
precation of a similar misfortune, therefore, cannot prove, 
as Du. claims, that the crime repudiated here by Job was not 
the violent appropriation of land and causing the death of its 
former owners. No doubt restoration to the lawful owners or 
their heirs would have been the correct reparation ; but the 
prayer that no good might come of ill-gotten possessions is far 
from unnatural. At the same time, as remarked above, ^^ 
would be even more appropriate on Du.'s interpretation of ^^. 

35-37- Conclusion of the speech (^^-^^ being misplaced): 


^^ Oh that ^ God would^ hear me ! — 

Behold my mark — t\\a.t the A linighfy would answer me! 

• • • • • • • 

And the scroll which my accuser hath written ; 

Job expresses a final wish that God would answer him, and a 
conviction that (in this case) he would be able triumphantly to 
maintain his innocence and integrity. The tone of desire in ^^ 
and of triumph in '^^^- is clear ; but in detail the passag-e is 
extraordinarily ambiguous, and has received many different 
interpretations. In large part this ambiguity may be due to 
the probable loss of a line, as indicated above, between ^^^ and 
^^°, in part also, perhaps, to some further textual corruption. 

35. Oh that God wotdd hear me\ %} Oh that I had one to hear 
me, i.e. as variously understood, would that God, or some 
sympathetic human ear, to which he may entrust the declara- 
tion he is about to make (cp. Peake), or (Hi.) an arbitrator 
who will decide between (cp. 9^^) God and himself, would 
listen to Job. — Behold viy mark] parenthetical; Bi. HofFm., 
assuming that in already was and is here used as the name of 
the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, render, Behold my Taw, 
(i.e. my last word is said) : (now) let the Almighty answer me. 
But more probably (unless, as may well be, the word is 
merely due to a corruption of the text) Taw has here the more 
general sense of mark (cp. Ezk, 9*-^t), whether it signifies a 
mark resembling the early Taw, X, in lieu of an actual signature, 
or, which is more probable, since Job is scarcely to be thought 
of as incapable of writing, the signature itself; in either case, 
it implies a document thereby acknowledged or attested by Job. 
On the other hand, apart from this particular interpretation, 
there is no indication of such a document : for the document of 
^° is obviously something diflferent, and the vbs. of ^^*- ^, though 
they may be compatible with a written document, which God 
is to answer, certainly do not require it, but more readily 
suggest spoken words of Job which God is to hear and answer. 
If, however, the lines implied a document signed by Job, of 
what nature was it? It is commonly held to be a doctiment 
containing "the protestations of his innocence " just spoken, or 

XXXI. 35.] JOB 275 

similar assertions of innocence (Da. Dr. I'cake, Riclilt-r, 
Honth.): but (i) protestations of innocence do not naturally 
demand an answer, they are rather themselves answers to a 
charge : (2) the protestations just made have taken the form 
of imprecations ; the natural "answer" of God to an impreca- 
tion would be to inflict the ill imprecated. Others (Ew. Bu. 
Du.) see in the document signed by Job his charge against 
God : Job "the accused has become the accuser. His document 
is first presented : it is accordingly the charge : the answer, 
i.e. the defence of his opponent, is not yet forthcoming: he 
charges God with violating justice (27-), and of this charge He 
is said to be unable to clear Himself. Complete confidence in 
his victory over God with a justification of the charge in its 
entire extent marks accordingly this conclusion of Job's speech" 
(Bu.). Others combine (Hi.), or (Di.) leave as alternative con- 
stituents, in the book charge and defence. If we might follow 
^Id AV. (which last is not a rendering of P?), this ambiguous 
book disappears from the text, and ^^^ becomes completely 
parallel to ^^^ without any disturbing parenthesis : in this case 
(emending ^in into ^niN*n) render. Behold my desire (is that) the 
Almighty may answer me (see phil, n.). — That the Almighty 
'would answer me] the words may also be rendered : let the 
Almighty answer me. — And the scroll which my accuser hath 
written] these words have been taken (i) as dependent on Oh 
that in 35a; And (that I had) the scroll, etc. (EV.), ^^b \^^^^^ 
parenthetical; or (2) on Behold in '"^^-^ Behold here is my 
signature . . . and the scroll, etc., the last clause of 3^*^ (let 
the Almighty answer me) being then parenthetic (Del. Me.); 
or (3) as a castis pendefis to ^e ; As for the scroll which mine 
accuser hath written — Upon my shoulder would I bear it, etc. 
(ffi Hi. Bu.). All these suggestions are unsatisfactory in them- 
selves and involve a tristich {^^°" ^- ° or ^s^- 36a. b^ . ^^^^ jj. jg pj-efer- 
able to assume the loss of a line. Du. would prefix to ^'^ such a 
line as: would that I had the roll. But the last line, if such 
there was, may, of course, have been very diflferent from this : 
it must be remembered that ^^^ is most naturally (though not in 
the existing and probably mutilated context) rendered : And 
a scroll hath my accuser written. Such are the ambiguities 


276 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXI. 35-36. 

^^ Surely upon my shoulder would I carry it, 
I would bind it around me as a crown ; 

of construction: further ambiguities of detail remain. — T/ie 
scroll] so the Heb. "iDD is best rendered here, if it is the object 
of the vb. in ^^: a scroll, but not a book (RVm.), may be 
pictured as bound round the head or spread over the back of 
the neck. For scroll, cp. Is. 34*: "the heavens shall be rolled 
up like a scroll." In form a scroll, in virtue of its contents it 
is a leg-al document (cp. Dt. 24^ (EV. bill), Jer, ^2^^^- (EV. deed)); 
and if written by Job's accuser it is a written statement of the 
charg'es made against him, an indictment. The custom of 
accuser and accused (cp. ? '^^^) furnishing" a written statement 
of the accusation and defence is attested for Egypt at least by 
Diod. (i. 75).— yl/y accuser] or opponent (at law) : see phil. n. 
This has been taken collectively as referring to the three friends 
of Job (so, e.g., Del. Che. in EBi. 2479) ; but more frequently, in 
its more natural singular sense, as referring to God (so Di. Da. 
Bu. Du. Peake) : this involves, indeed, a sudden change from 
the attitude towards God in the appeal of ^^^- ^ and a further 
change in ^'''^ where God appears as judge, but (so Di.) is in 
accord with 9^- 1^^- ^^ 10^ 13^^ 23*^ 40-. 

36. If, as he desired ^^'^, God's accusations against him were 
written on a scroll and given to him, so confident is Job in his 
innocence of the sins to which his sufferings appear to point, 
that he would receive the scroll without fear or shame, on the 
other hand would display it openly on his person, and wear it 
proudly like a crown of honour — treating the very accusations 
of God (which would turn out to be no accusations) as so many 
marks of honour, and (^''^) handing back to God the scroll, not 
humbly like a criminal, but proudly like a prince : so substanti- 
ally Da. Di. Dr. Du. Peake ; and this is the least bizarre in- 
terpretation of the existing text. — Carry it] %} can, of course, 
equally well be translated carry him ; and it has actually been 
maintained that Job is expressing his intention of carrying on 
his shoulder either (i) victoriously (cp. Hoffmann), or as a 
cherished child (Ehrlich), the one who fulfils his wish (^^^) by 
listening to him, i.e. (Hoffm.) God Himself; or (2) the accuser 

XXXI. 36-40.] ELIHU 277 

37 I would declare the number of my steps, 
Like a prince I would present it. 

■^^'"^ The words of Job arc completed. 

oi ^".—Upon »iv shoulder] cp. Is. 22-: the Heb. term n^^ 
denotes the back of the neck or shoulder, on which burdens 
were borne {e.g. Gn. 49^^) ; the scroll is thus pictured rather 
strang-ely, as spread out to be read not by those who meet Job, 
but by those who come up behind him. Some, however, think 
the suggestion is that the scroll is worn as an easy burden 
[Lex. ioi4fl) : the accusations would han;,'- lightly on Job. The 
idiom would, of course, at once suit the personal reference (see 
last n.) if that were otherwise tolerable: for persons borne on 
the shoulder see Gn, 21^^ ; and for the figure of a crown applied 
to persons, see Pr. 12* I'j^. 

37. The number of my steps] all my actions ; cp. ^ (steps || 
ways), 14^'^. — / would present it] a better parallel to * than the 
questionable alternative rendering : I would go near unto him 
(see phil. n.). 

40c. An editorial note: cp. Ps. ^2-^, Jer. 51*^* last clause. 
Freely rendered the clause was connected by fflr with 32^ (so Bu.). 

XXXII.-XXXVII. Elihu.— This entire section of the book 
must for reasons given in the Introd. §§ 22-29 be regarded as 
an interpolation. It consists scarcely of four speeches, but of a 
single speech outwardly divided in the existing text into four 
sections by means of the formulas in 34^ 35^ (as 3'^ etc.) and 
36^ (cp. 27^ 29^). In some, perhaps even in all cases, this 
formula may not be original ; the additional occurrences in (5 
(32^7 and HP-^ in 34^*5 . cp. the variant in '^ 33=^1) point at least 
to a tendency to multiply the use of it ; still in 34^ the formula 
stands after words that suggest a pause, and before Elihu 
turns to address a fresh party ; and with 36^ a fresh main part 
of the speech begins. As Job in his speeches now addresses the 
friends, now God, and now soliloquizes, so Elihu in part addresses 
himself to the friends (32^-^^, including ^° : see n.), in part falls 
rather into the tone of soliloquy (32''''-"), in part addresses the 
wise men (34^"^^), or others (37^, if fi^ be correct), in the audience, 
but mainly addresses Job (33^-^^ 34^^-37"*) except 37- ?^ and 

278 ^ THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXII. 1-2. 

XXXII. ^ And these three men ceased to answer Job, 
because lie thought himself righteous. ^ And Elihu the son of 
Barachel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, was hot with anger: 
against Job he was hot with anger, because he considered 
himself righteous rather than God ; ^ and against his three 

? 35^^). The speech falls into three main parts : (i) in 32*^-33'^ 
by way of introduction Elihu explains to the three friends 
{32^-^*) and to Job (33^"^) and to himself (32^^-22) why or how he 
is going to intervene; (2) in 33^-35^^, thrice citing or summar- 
izing w^ords of Job (33^"^^ 34^'^ 35'^)> Elihu refutes the claim 
made in them by Job to be righteous and not to have deserved 
the sufferings inflicted on him by God; (3) in 36, 37 he presents 
independently his own view of the greatness of God, of His 
creative activity, and of His government of men. Certainly 
much common ground is covered in (2) and (3), and the dis- 
tinction between them would largely fall away, if Du.'s recon- 
struction (see on 35^^) of 35^^-362 were adopted. 

XXXII. I-6a. — Prose introduction to the speeches: angry 
alike with Job for maintaining that he was righteous 2, and 
with the friends for at last silently acquiescing"^, Elihu breaks 
the silence, which he had observed hitherto out of regard for 
the superior age of the friends, not at all from any doubt as to 
how Job could be shown to be in the wrong*. — For inconclusive 
reasons, Bu. Hoffm. regard as interpolated the vv. {^■^) which 
give the grounds (cp. *^^-) for Elihu's intervention. 

1. Three me?i] so also in ^ {i.e. both in what Bu. (see last 
n.) considers the original and the secondary part of this intro- 
duction) Job's three friends are named. The change from the 
term friends (2^^ 19^^ 42^*': here also in ^^ and in ^- ^ (S ; in 
^0 = 1^) is due to a difference of writer rather than to "the 
correct feeling that they could no longer be termed " friends 

2. Elihzc, the son of Barachel] the father's name is added, 
not because so much stress is laid on Elihu's youth (Bu.), but 
in accordance with a common custom when a name is intro- 
duced into documents (cp. e.g. Is. i^, Jer. i', Ezk. i^, the 
Elephantine papyri, passim). In observing this custom this 
writer differs from the author of the Prologue. Both names 

XXXII. 2-6.] ELIIIU 279 

friends he was hot with anger, because they had found no 
answer, and had not shown Job to be unrig-hteous. ^ Now 
Elihu had waited for Job with words, because they were 
older in days than he. ^ And when Elihu saw that there 
was no answer in the mouth of the three men, he was 
hot with anger. ^ And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite 
answered and said : 

1 am young" in days, 

Whereas ye are aged ; 
Therefore I was in dread and afraid 

To declare my knowledge to you. 

may have been selected by the interpolator on account of 
their meaning: Elihu (i S. i^, i Ch. 12'^*^ 26^ 27^^) means (my) 
God is he, and Barachel (^^) bless, O God, or bless God, or 
God hath blessed or blesses (see phil. n.). Ba-rik-ili is the 
name of several (Jewish) persons named in the documents of 
Murashu sons (temp. Artaxerxes i., see Bab. Expedition of the 
Univ. of Pennsylvania, Series A, vol. ix. p. 52). — The Buzite^ 
since Buz was the "brother" (Gn. 2221) of Us. (i^), Elihu is 
represented as more closely akin than the friends to Job. — Of 
the clan of Ravi\ whereas Buz as a son of Nahor is Aramaic, 
Ram is only known as Jewish or Jerachmeelite (Ru. 4^^, 
I Ch. 2^-2^). Disregarding this, the author perhaps selected 
this clan name, too, on account of its meaning — lofty, exalted. 
In any case it is unwise to treat Ram as an abbreviation of 
Aram in order to make both descriptions of Elihu Aramaic, or 
Buzite as equivalent to Bo'azite (^lu = "'nv^ : cp. Ru. 4^1) to 
make them both Jewish. — Rather tha?i\ less probably, before : 
see phil. n. 

3. No answer] no further answer: cp. ^^^- — Had not] less 
prohably yet had : see phil. n. 

4a. See phil. n. 

6-22. Elihu, not (see ^° n.) addressing Job till 33s explains, 
partly {^-'^^) in direct address to the three friends, partly (i5-22^ 
soliloquizing, why he had kept silent hitherto, and why he is 
now speaking. lie had kept silence, not because he had any 
hesitation as to the right thing to say, but merely from con- 
ventional respect for old men (^- '^). He had been confident 
enough about his own knowledge all along, knowing whence 


7 I said, ** Days should speak, 

And multitude of years make known wisdom." 

8 But indeed it is the spirit in man, 

And the breath of the Almighty, which makes them 


it came — from God Himself {^). God, as he thus knows by his 
own experience, gives knowledge to the young ; but since He 
may sometimes impart to old men also, Elihu had given the 
old men before him C^- ^^), Eliphaz, Bildad and Sophar, the 
opportunity of showing whether they were inspired as well as 
old: the event had proved that they were not (^- ^'^'^- '^ ^•^^•) ; for 
he is not to be put off with the excuse that the task set them 
had been so hard that only God Himself could discharge it (^^) : 
he will soon show the hollowness of this excuse, when he gets 
to work himself. The words of these old dotards have dried 
up (^^^) ; how different is it with him ! He is so uncomfort- 
ably flooded with words that, had he no better reason, he must 
needs speak in order to relieve the intellectual stomach-ache 
which his many words of wisdom, so long kept inside, have 
given him (i'^-20j^ And when he speaks, let no one expect 
compliments ; for they will not get them (^'^■). This apology 
is not a dramatic description of a speaker whose contribu- 
tion the writer ridicules as that of a bombastic youth, 
but a self-revelation of the tone and temper of the writer 

8. The dispute whether ^he spirit and the breath are merely 
the spirit of God which imparts life (27^ 33*) and intelligence 
to all men (Gn. 2'^), or the spirit inspiring or giving special 
knowledge to prophets (cp. Joel 3^), is, in the present connec- 
tion, rather beside the point : the spirit of God which is 
imparted to all men and the spirit given in inspiration, or to 
impart exceptional skill and ability, to special men (Is. 11^ n., 
Nu. 27^^, Gen. 41^*^^-, Ex. 31^; cp. c. 33^^ n.), are not two 
essentially different things, but the same spirit in less or 
greater measure, working for and achieving different ends. 
Both ^ and ^, though expressed in perfectly general terms, 
have a specific implication : '•* indirectly asserts that the three 
friends (cp ^°), in spite of their age, are not wise, and ^ that 

XXXII. 8 14. J ELIHU 28 1 

^ It is not ^ the aged ^ that are wise, 

Nor is it the old that understand right ; 
^° Therefore I say, Listen to me ; 

I also will declare my knowledge. 
^^ Behold I waited for your words, 

I listened for your wise sayings ; 
Whilst ye sought out words, 
12 Even unto you I attended ; 

And behold there was none to convict Job, 

None among you to answer his sayings. 
^3 (Beware) lest ye say, " We have found wisdom ; 

God may drive him away, not man." 
^■* "^ I will T not set forth ^ such ^ words ^ as these ^, 

Nor will I answer him with your sayings. 

Elihu through the presence in him of the spirit of God (cp. 
Gn. 41^^^"), in spite of his youth, is wise. 

9. Cp. 12^^ 15^*^. — |L^ many, or the great (see phil. n.). — 
The aged] Eliphaz, Bildad and Sophar in particular are 
intended : see on ^. 

10-17- If ^^"^^ were placed after ^, and ^"^ omitted as a variant 
of '^^, the reasons for Elihu's former silence {^^- ^^^■) and present 
speech (i^. sf.j would stand together with ^^-^^ as transitional. 
But neither this nor other proposed reconstructions (see phil. 
n.) can be regarded as certain. 

10. Listen] sing, in most Hebrew MSS, but, in spite of Di.'s 
argument (see phil. n.), the pi.. Listen ye, should be read. 

II f. Elihu had waited, but in vain, for the friends to prove 
their wisdom by putting Job in the wrong. 

13. '* Do not think you have found in Job a wisdom which 
only God can overcome" (Dr.). An alternative rendering, 
scarcely to be adopted, is : Lest ye say. We have found wisdom, 
God (speaking through Elihu) will drive him away, not man 
[i.e. Elihu uttering merely his own wisdom); so Richter : cp. 
AV. RVm. 

14a,. ^. And he hath not set foi'th words against me : and 
so, slightly paraphrased, RV. |^ is commonly supposed to 
mean "Job has not yet tried conclusions with me" (Dr.). In 
any case the meaning is : when I have spoken, in a manner 
very different from you (^*'\ if not also ^**), you will see that 
it is not necessary to call in God in person to vanquish Job ; a 

282 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXII. 14-20. 

^^ They are dismayed, they answer no more ; 

Words have failed them. 
1" And am I to wait, because they speak not, 

Because they have stood still, (and) have answered no 

more ? 
i"" 1 also will gfive my allotted answer, 

I will declare my knowledge, I too. 
^s For I am full of words, 

The breath in my belly constrains me ; 
^^ Behold, my belly is as wine that hath no vent ; 

Like skins (filled with) new (wine) it is ready to burst. 
20 Let me speak that I may get relief; 

Let me open my lips and answer. 
2' Let me not, pray, show partiality to any man ; 

Neither will I g'ive flattering titles to any creature ; 

man, viz. myself, though youthful, yet inspired, will do what 
you, though old, have failed to do. The promise not to answer 
like the friends is not in reality fulfilled : in substance the 
speeches of Elihu supply nothing that the friends have not 
previously alleged. 

15-22. The tone of soliloquy (see on xxxii.-xxxvii.) imparted 
to these vv. by ^^'^'^ can be avoided by omissions (of ^^"^^, Bu.) 
or transposition (see phil. n. on ^*^-^'') ; but for such there is no 
sufficient independent reason. 

15. Have /ailed] lit. have moved away frorn. 

17. Cp. '^^. — Give my allotted answer] lit. answer m.y portion \ 
the meaning, in the context, is scarcely, I will give my portion 
of the reply needed to convict Job, but (since Elihu is convinced 
that he has himself a complete answer) I will offer in reply the 
portion of knowledge which has fallen to me from God, and 
that portion will constitute a complete answer. 

18-20. Elihu is painfully full of words and of the breath in 
which they should pour forth : he must therefore get his words 
out in speech, or else burst like tightly closed skins containing 
wine in fermentation. — My helly\ briefly for *'the words in my 
belly," the words strictly corresponding to the wine, the belly 
to the skins (^) ; similarly 7iew wine-skins (j[l|) is briefly put for 
skins containing new wine ; new skins in themselves are least 
liable to break, and as such are the proper receptacles for new 
wine (Mt. gi'). 


22 For I cannot give flattering titles ; 

My Maker would soon take me away. 

XXXIII. ^ llowbeit, hear now, O Job, my speech, 

And listen to all my words. 
2 Behold now, I have opened my mouth. 

My tongue in my palate hath spoken. 
8 My heart '^overflows"' with sayings 'of "* knowledge ; 

My lips speak that which is pure. 
* The spirit of God hath made me. 

And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life. 

22. He will not give fair titles to men ^^ because he could 
not 22a^ if he wished, and would not, if he could, for fear of 
divine punishment, ^-^. 

XXXIII. 1-7. Elihu now turns to Job, with an invitation 
to listen ("•) and if possible to answer (^), repeating to him (^^•), 
what he had already said to the friends (32^- ^^^■), that he is 
full of words, due to the action on him of the divine spirit, and 
assuring him that they meet on equal terms {^^■) as follow 

1. O Job\ Elihu, unlike the friends, addresses Job by name 
pi 2714 ; cp. the references to Job by name in 34^- '^- ^^^- 35^^). 
The difference is not completely explained by the fact that, 
unlike the friends, he does not address himself exclusively to 
Job. The change from address to the friends to address to 
Job would have been sufficiently marked by the change from 
2nd p. pi. to 2nd p. sing. (cp. 34^*^ after 34^^). The difference 
is rather due to difference of writers. 

2. The poverty of this v. seems to Bu. to be cured by 
making it hypothetical: If I have opened my mouth . . . ^my 
heart, etc. 

3. pj my words (utter) the uprightness (6^^) of my heart 
(Dt. 9^, Ps. 119^ I Ch. 29^^); and the knowledge of my lips 
they speak sincerely : see phil. n. 

4. Cp. 32^ n. — "Elihu appeals to the Divine spirit which 
both created him and maintains him in life : it is a spirit which 
is common to all men ; but ' in his animated zeal for God against 
the charges of Job he feels that it is within him in a powerful 
degree and gives him a higher wisdom than ordinary' (Dav. : 


^ If thou canst, answer me ; 

Draw up before me, (and) stand forth. 
'^ Behold, I (stand) towards God even as thou (dost) ; 

From the (same piece of) clay I also was snipped off. 
^ Behold, my terror shall not affright thee, 

And my urgency shall not be heavy upon thee. 
^ Nevertheless thou said'st in my hearing, 

And I heard the voice of (thy) words : — 

similarly Del.). It thus both guarantees his sincerity ^, and 
gives him strength to confront Job confidently ^. Bu. Be. Du. 
omit the v. as in a sense a duplicate of ^, premature here, and 
superfluous after ^. But ^ speaks only of the material side of 
man's nature ; this v. emphasizes his being made and kept 
alive by God's spirit : so that the points of view of the two 
verses are different. Peake would transpose to follow ^ ; but 
the point in ^ is that Elihu is a ynaii, made from the dust like 
Job, and therefore '^ he will not browbeat him like God ; 
between ^ and ^ the thought of the Divine spirit as his maker 
and sustainer would be out of place " (Dr.). 

5. Draw up\ sc. your case, or arguments : or, fig., your line 
of battle : see phil. n. 

6b. Cp. 10^. — From the clay . . . snipped off\ cp. the 
phrase, used of Eabani's creation in the Gilgamesh Epic 
(Tab. I, col. 2, 1. 34), "snipped off clay " [ti-ta ik-ta-ri-is), and 
also that in the cosmological fragment cited in Rogers, CP 
p. 45, Ea ik-rn-sa ti-ta-[am] ib-ni il libitti, Ea broke off the 
clay, he created the god of bricks. 

7. Elihu comes " not in terror as the King of kings " : cp. 

8-33. This, the first part of Elihu's refutation, begins 
^9-11.(13)^^ like the two subsequent parts (34^'*^ 35^'^)) with a 
summary of Job's position as Elihu understands it. Job has 
asserted ^ (i) that he is without sin,^; (2) that consequently 
God's hard treatment of him proceeds from mere enmity, and 
is without moral justification or purpose, '^^'^- ; (3) that God 
refuses to answer him, '-^- (corrected text).. Elihu addresses 
himself primarily to (3), though his reply even to this is so far 
indirectly expressed that he answers Job's assertion about his 

XXXIII. 8-13.] ELIIIU 2S5 

own particular case In- reference to God's general treatment of 
men ; still more indirectly — thoui^h clearly enouy^h, does he 
express his dissent from (i) and (2). Job's assertion that God 
does not answer ////;/, lilihu argues, arises from his not dis- 
cerning- God's many modes of speaking to men, ^^, as for 
example (i) by vision, ^^■^' ; (2) through suffering, ^'^^•. Suffer- 
ing rightly received (not wrongly, as by Job), through the 
activity of angels, leads (good) men to say, '* I have sinned," ^7 
(not, like Job, 9, " I am sinless ") : and, thereupon, God redeems 
the sufferer. In whatever way God speaks or answers, it is 
with the aim of rescuing men from sin, and so from the 
suffering which sin entails, ^^^- '^'^^- . Let Job answer Elihu if 
he can, and if not, silently listen to him, 2°-^. 

8 13. Here as in 34^'- 35^'- Elihu makes, as Sophar had done 
in 11^, his starting-point words used by Job, or thought by Elihu 
(for the quotations are not all exact) to have been used by him in 
the course of the debate with the friends. But Bu. exaggerates 
and misrepresents the significance of this when he says : " the 
friends seek Job's sins in his conduct (Tun) before the time of 
his sufferings, Elihu only in his assertions, since these have 
befallen him. They embittered Job by false suspicions. 
Elihu confines himself only to the facts known to all con- 
cerned." For if the assertions attributed to Job in ^ are true, 
they are not sinful ; and if not true, their falsehood is due to 
Job's conduct before his sufferings befell him. As a matter of 
fact, ^ is not a true statement of Job's point of view : he had 
never claimed im.munity from all sin ; on the contrary, had 
recognized that he, like all men, had not been free from sin 
/^2i j-^se^ cp^ ,o<5). What he had maintained was his integrity 
(i^ n.), that he was not contumaciously wicked, that he was in 
the right (g^^^- 10' 13^^ 16^^ ^-^-^^-"^^ 27^-'' 31) in the issue which, 
on the current theory, was being decided against him by the 
very fact of his sufferings : in other words, that he belonged 
to the class of those whose whole soul was set against the 
sins to which human nature is prone and devoted to the ways 
of God, and to whom accordingly, on the current theory, 
prosperity was due. Why these unparalleled sufferings ? 
Not, Job had asserted, because I had so sinned as to deserve 

2 86 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIII. 8-13. 

^ " Pure am I, without transgression ; 

Clean, and I have no iniquity (in me) : 
'° Behold, he findeth Tpretexts^ against me, 

He holdeth me for his enemv. 
^^ He putteth my feet in the stocks, 

He marketh all my ways." 
^2 Behold, herein thou art not in the rights ; 

For God is greater than man. 
^3 Wherefore contendest thou with him (saying), 

" He answereth none of ^ my ^ words " ? 

them ; yes, the friends had been driven to say, inventing sins 
in Job's past life to justify their answer because your sins had 
deserved them : yes, Elihu seems to say all irrelevantly, because 
no man is without sin : neither are you. 

9. Not an exact quotation : see on ^. — Pure] in reference to 
Job (8^ Bildad; ii"* Sophar) ; to Job's prayer i6i7 (Job); to 
the heavens (15^^, Eliphaz) ; the stars (25^, Bildad). The 
parallel term clean is peculiar to Elihu. 

lOa. Cp. 10^2-^'^ ; ^ is, allowing for the necessary change of 
persons, an exact quotation of 13-^: cp. also 19^^ 30"^. — 
Pre/exls] for picking a quarrel with me : ^| frustrations : see 
phil. n. 

11. = 13'-^. 

12. In consequence, probably of corruption of the text, the 
exact point of the v. is uncertain. In ^ (5 reads. For how sayest 
thou, I am in the right, and (yet) he answereth me not. For 
this and some attempts to emend the text — none of them quite 
satisfactory, see phil. n. — Herein] in the statements just cited 
in ^"^^. — In the right] ?^ + / {ivill) answer thee. — For God is 
greater thatt fnafi] "and consequently above all arbitrary, 
unreasoning hostility " (Du.) ; or the meaning may be : greater 
than and so unaccountable to men. (5 represents a very differ- 
ent text, which, though not so understood by G, might have 
meant: for God hideth Himself from men (cp. 9^^^-). 

13. Why quarrel with God ? the reason jou allege, that 
He does not answer you, is false; He does answer, ^*. — 
3fy words] P^ his words: if this were right, the pronoun 
would refer directly to man (^^b^^ j,^ general, and only 
implicitly to Job. 


XXXIII. 14-16. ] ELIHU 28/ 

14 For God speaketh in one way, 

And in two, without (man's) perceiving- it : — 

15 In dream, in vision of the night, 
When deep sleep falleth upon men, 

During hours of slumber in (their) bed ; 
1*' Then he uncovereth the ear of men, 

And dismayeth them with admonishments (?) ; 

14. God speaks in more ways than one, by dreams, suffer- 
ings, etc., and men fail to recognize the fact — not, of course, 
always (for see "'^•), but often ; Elihu is content to omit the 
qualification, because the general law is exemplified by Job, 
whom he has particularly in view. In view of the general 
terms of ^^^•, it is doubtful whether we ought to make ^'^ 
specific in form, as it is in implication, by reading " without //ly 
perceiving it." — In one way . . . in two ways\ i.e. in several 
ways (see phil. n.). 

15-18. First illustration of the ways in which God speaks. 
He speaks to men, as He had spoken (cp. 7^^) to Job in particu- 
lar, by means of dreams with the immediate aim of deflecting 
them from their evil courses i*", and the ultimate aim ^^ of 
savins- them from the evil fate to which their courses would 

15. Dream, vis^ioji of the nighf] cp., in parallelism, 20^^; 
so in the pi. "dreams" || "visions," 7^^.— b. = 4^'^'' : see nn 
there. — Honrs of slumber] Hebr. slionberings; the pi. as in Pr. 
6^° (a few moments, or snatches, of slumber; ct. the sing. 


16. Uncovereth the ear of] i.e. imparts a communication to; 
the phrase is used of a man revealing a purpose or secret to 
another (i S. 20", Ru. 4*), especially one that closely concerns 
the person whose ear is " uncovered " (i S. 20^2 22^-'^'^) ; and 
then of God's imparting to man a promise (2 S. 7^^), warnings 
(here, 36^^- 1^) or direction (i S. 9^^). — b. A very ambiguous line 
(see phil. n.). Even iH seems to admit, and indeed to suggest, 
two different renderings: (i) And he sealeth their fetter, i.e. 
strengthens the bond that binds them to God — very improbable ; 
or, (2) he sealeth their instruction, which has been interpreted 
in several ways (see Di.) ; e.g: : (a) "puts the seal to, or con- 

2 83 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIII. 16-19. 

'" In order to turn mankind aside ^ from his ^ (evil) work, 

And to ' cut away ^ pride from man ; 
^8 To keep back his soul from the pit, 

And his life from passin^f away through (God's) missiles. 
1^ He is also disciplined with pain upon his bed, 

While the strife of his bones is perennial ; 

firms, their moral education" (Dr.); or (5) imparts instruction 
to them under seal, t.e. secretly (Ges. T/ies. 538^) : this would 
correspond admirably to the sense of the parallel, but it is 
doubtful whether the Hebrew naturally expresses it. With a 
change of punctuation, %} may also be rendered as above, 
though Di. in criticism of it remarks, not altogether without 
force, that admonishments are not the means to create dis- 
may, nor is dismay the purpose of admonishment ; this criti- 
cism can be obviated by taking a suggestion from ffir, and 
rendering : And dismayeth them with what they see (cxion) : 
by night God suggests to men words ^ of counsel, and brings 
before them ^ visions of their fate (cp. ^^), if they persist in 
sin (cp. ^'^). This reading would connect ^^*- even more 
strikingly with 7^*: Job there refers to visions sent by God 
which scared him ; but they had not, in Elihu's view, turned 
Job from his sin. 

17 f. Cp. 36^*'-^2. For the emendations adopted above, see 
phil. n. Pride, according to Bu., is specially mentioned (cp. 
36'^) as, in Elihu's view. Job's besetting sin, but see Introd. 
§ 41. P^ can be rendered, but only in such ways as at once 
indicate the improbability of its correctness : e.g. that mankind 
may put away work, and hide pride from man (cp. RVm.) ; 
or, that mankind may put away work and pride from man, 
who hides (both : Hoflfm.). Ehrlich, with no more extensive 
alterations than those adopted above, renders : Hiding from 
mankind his work, and concealing (his) majesty from man. 

18. The pit\ 17^* n. — Passing away through [God's) missiles^ 
i.e. perishing owing to the divine retribution for persistent sin 
overtaking him ; or, passing on into missiles, i.e. rushing un- 
consciously to their fate ; or, emending, passing on into Sheol: 
see phil. n. 

19. Secondly, God speaks to men through the discipline 

XXXIII. 19 22.] ELIHU 289 

20 His appetite abhorreth food, 

And his soul dainties. 

21 His flesh wasteth away so that it cannot be seen, 

And his bones . . . 

22 And so his soul dravveth near to the pit, 

And his life to the slayers. 

of pain and sickness (cp. Ps. 38^): all Job's pains, if Job but 
understood it, are words of God admonishing- him. Eliphaz 
had said the same (s^'^'-) ; " Elihu's originality is confined to a 
long-winded description of suffering " (Du.). — The strife of his 
bones\ fig. for racking pains. On the alternative reading, 
"the multitude of his bones," and emendations, see phil. n. — 
Pere7inial\ see phil. n. on 12^^. 

20. Sickness produces nausea, so that, though hungry, the 
sick man finds even favourite foods disgusting: see phil. n. 

21. His flesh imisteth a7vay] cp. Pr. 5^^^ "at thy latter end, 
when thy flesh and thy body waste away " ; Ps. 73-^. The vb. 
is used with other subjects in 7-' (of a vaiiishiiig cXoud compared 
with man's vanishing in death), 7^ (of the days of a man's life), 
' i^° (of the eyes), 19-" (of the reins). — So that it cannot be seen] 
if Legitimate, the rendering, so that it is not (any longer) sightly, 
would be preferable; but see phil. n. — His hones . . .] the 
words left untranslated are very questionable. The line has 
commonly been rendered and interpreted. And his bones, ivhich 
were (formerly) not seen (because then covered with flesh) are 
(now that they are denuded of flesh ^, laid) bare; improbable: 
see phil. n. 

22. The slayers\ the only allusion (for 2 S. 24!", Ps. 78^^ are 
not strict parallels), itself not absolutely certain (see phil. n.), 
in the OT., to the angels of death, who take the soul of the 
dying man to its place in Sheol. These play a considerable 
part in later Jewish literature ; so first in Test. Asher 6^, 
"For the latter ends of men do show their righteousness (or 
unrighteousness), when they meet (so read with Charles) the 
angels of the Lord and of Satan " ; and later the idea was 
elaborated, see, e.g., Kethtiboih, 104^: " When a wicked man is 
destroyed, three bands of destroying angels meet him ; one 
cries. No peace, saith God, for the wicked ; another. Ye shall 


290 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIII. 22-23. 

23 If (now) there be for him an angel, 
An interpreter, one of a thousand, 
To declare unto man what is right for him ; 

He down in pain; and a third, Go down and lie with the un- 
circumcized." See, further, Charles's n. on Test. Asher 6*: 
Bousset, Die Religion des Judenthiims, 284 f. 

23-28. But in the very article of death (2^), an angel may visit 
the sick man, and interpret to him what God had been saying 
to him through his sufferings (''^), viz. that he had sinned ; if the 
sick man acknowledges his sin and repents, then he is brought 
back from death's door to complete health (^^^•). On his recovery 
the man publicly recites in song how he had sinned and been 
saved (26-28). The general sense, so far, of the vv. is clear ; owing 
probably to more or less mutilation of the text, several details 
are obscure. 

23 f. The verses are irregular in form, probably as a result of 
the loss, and, perhaps, also of the addition of words : see phil. n. 

23. If\ Du. reads TX, then (there is for him, etc.), on the 
ground that Elihu's theory is futile, if it is a mere accident 
whether God sends an angel, and so saves the sick man. — For 
him\ working for the good of the sick man (see phil. n.); Hi. 
Wr. beside (cp. i K. 22^^) him^ viz. God ; but this is equally 
improbable, whether we continue in ^ "to declare unto man 
(God's) uprightness" (Hi.), or "to proclaim on man's behalf 
his (man's) uprightness" (Wr.). — An interpreter^ of angels 
intermediating between God and man 5^ appears to speak (see 
n. there) ; here, as the context indicates, the function of this 
special class of angels was to interpret to men, as it were, the 
foreign and unintelligible language (Gn. 42^^) of God's dealings 
with them. As. Du. well points out, the angel here performs 
the same function as, in earlier stories, was discharged by 
prophets (Is. 38) ; and it is to prophets or the like that the 
same term "interpreters" is applied in Is. 43^'^. — 07ie of a 
thousand^ No sick man need fear that there are not enough 
angels deputed for this service to serve all needs, for angels 
with this one duty of interpreting numbered thousand(s) : 
angels of all classes numbered myriads (Dn. 7^*'). — What is 

XXXIII. 23-26.] ELIHU 29 1 

2' And (if) he be i^racious and say, 

" Release him from g'oiiig" down to the pit ; 
I have found a ransom [for his life)" ; 

26 His flesh becometh fresh with youth, 

He returneth to the days of his lustihood ; 

right for ]iim\ ^ his fault: Du. his discipline, i.e. the meaning' 
of it. In (!!i a line parallel to -^° follows : And to bring- him to 
a knowledge of his sins ; this may have formed part of the 
original text ; see phil. n. on 23-25^ 

24. And if he be gracious\ much less probably, then he is 
gracio2is (RV.), since 23 by itself much less clearly even than 23f 
indicates that the sick man has recognized his sin — the 
condition of favour being shown to him. The subj. is the 
interpreting angel, who now addresses a particular angel of 
death (22) who was on the point of carrying off the sick man to 
Sheol, a situation which foreshadows the later highly developed 
doctrine of opposed types of angels interested in the death of 
men : cp. also Michael's contention with Satan over the body 
of Moses, Jude'-^*. Others take God as the subj., on the ground 
(Di.) that the right of showing favour and receiving ransom 
does not belong to the angel ; and certainly, if it is not to the 
'* slayer," it must be to God that the ransom is ultimately paid 
(cp. the illuminating parallel in Ps. /[.gS-io (7-9)^ . yg^. ^j^g angel 
may speak as God's agent. — Ransom\ kopher, the price paid in 
lieu of forfeiting life (Ex. 21^°). The whole sentence implies 
that the sick man has confessed and repented, even though we 
need not wdth Di. Dr. say that the ransom is the repentance. 

25. If the angel succeeds in his purpose of bringing the sick 
man to repentance, 23f-, then he renews his youth. Du., who 
eliminates the hypothetical in 23^ takes this v. (rendering, let 
his flesh become . . . let him return) as continuing- the -words 
spoken by the interpreting- angel to the angel of death. — With 
youth\ or, more than in youth : or ((5), as that of a youth. 

26. Being recovered from his sickness, the man (makes a 
solemn visit to the Temple, offers sacrifice and) prays to God 
acceptably ; such are probably the implications of the v. ; cp. the 
similar passage in Eliphaz's speech (222''), "Thou shalt entreat 
him (God), and he will hear thee. And thou shalt pay thy vows." 


2" He entreateth God and he is favourable to him, 

And he seeth his face with (the sound ot'Teni])le) music ; 
And he "^proclaimeth^ his righteousness unto man, 
^"^ He singeth unto men, and saith. 

— He seeth hisface\ the alternative rendering of fi:^, He (God) lets 
(him) see His face, would be against the analogy of 22^'^^. The 
meaning is rather: he (the man restored to health) sees His 
(God's) face, i.e. visits the temple (cp. 222"''), and makes an 
offering for his recovery: cp., Thou shalt not see my face 
empty handed (Ex. 23^^ 34^'') ; see also Is. i^^ (with n. there). 
Other terms in the v. are also probably used with special 
reference to the cultus ; thus, the vb. to he favourable (to a 
person : n^*"i) is predicated of God frequently, though not ex- 
clusively, in connection with sacrifices : cp. 2 S. 24-^, Hos. 8'^, 
Jer. 14^^, Ezk. 20''*'- *^ 43^'^ ; cp. also the recurrent phrase fivif) in 
connection with sacrifices {e.g. Lv. i^, Is. 60'^). The last 
phrase of the V. might mean simply: with shouts of joy, the 
noun (nynn) being used as in 8-^ (1| p^mf) ; but perhaps it refers 
to the joyous sounds or music that accompanied ritual i^cts ; 
cp. Ps. 33^ 47" and especially Ps. 27^, (107-), "sacrifices of 
nynn," i.e. accompanied by music. Others, however, interpret 
^^^ of admission in a spiritual sense to God's presence (so Dr.) ; 
then cp. Ps. 11'^. 

26c, 27, 28. The man not only prays to God (^S'') in the 
Temple, but there also he makes public (-''*) confession of sin (-"'') 
which caused his sickness, and of God's goodness in not dealing 
with him according to his deserts (-''''), but, instead, bringing 
him back from death's door i^^^), and allowing him once again to 
enjoy health (^s^). 

26c. He proclaims his righteousness^ i.e. the sick man pro- 
claims God's "righteousness," as shown, namely, in His faith- 
fulness in restoring the penitent to health ; cp. Ps. 40'"^-, and 
also Ps. 22^^- ^2 (22.31) 2^i8_ Thus emended the line becomes an 
admirable parallel to 2'^*. f^ must be rendered : He (God) 
restoreth unto man his (man's) righteousness, i.e. looks upon him 
again as righteous ; but, besides involving an awkward change 
of subject from -'''', this is really a hysteron proteron ; for the 

XXXIII. 27-28.] ELIIIU 293 

" I sinned, and made crooked that which was strai^^ht, 
Yet he requited me not ^ according- to my iniquity ^ ; 
28 He redeemed my soul from passing- on to the pit, 
And my hfe (now) seeth its fill of the lig-ht." 

sick man is already again treated as righteous when his health 
returns to him (^^). 

27. ^^ shigeth unio\ fH probably intends Jie looketh upon 
(RVm.), which is quite inappropriate. It is difficult, as Du. 
remarks, to see how otherwise the convalescent could publicly 
sing such a psalm of confession and thanksgiving as follows 
ij-j 27b. c. 28 ^j-,g^j^ by means of the Temple services; when a man 
presented a thank-offering (mm) for recovery, the Temple 
singers may have sung on the man's behalf an appropriate 
psalm appointed for such purposes ; we may compare the title 
to Ps. 100 "for (an offering of) thanksgiving" (min^ ; cp. Lv. 
7^^^-), though this psalm is not suited for the thanksgiving in 
particular of a convalescent, and the custom attested in the 
Mishnah of appointing Psalms to be recited by the Levites in 
connection with the offerings made by groups of individuals, 
e.g. Ps. 30, when the inhabitants of a particular district pre- 
sented firstfruits at the temple (Ber. iii. : see Numbers, p. 228). 
For the close association of frti ah i^^^) and Temple-singing, 
cp. Ps. 27*5, "I will sacrifice in his tent sacrifices oifriiah, I 
will sing and make melody unto Vahweh," — Made crooked that 
"which was straight^ cp. Mic. 3'' (with a synonymous vb. fpy, 
here ■'n''U'n), "who abhor right, and make crooked all that is 
straight, building up Jerusalem with blood," etc. ; cp. also 
(with my as here) "he (God) hath made crooked my ways," 
Lam. 3^: " they have made their way crooked," Jer. 3^1 ; and 

with 'C'pv) Is. 598, "the way of peace they know not, and right 
IS not in their paths, their tracks they have made crooked," 
Pr. 10^. — 27c. see phil. n. 

28. From passing on\v.'^'^. — The piiY^^ : see phil. n. — Secth 
its fill of\ ox has pleasure in the sight of, the expressive idiom used 
so often in the psalms and commonly rendered " to see one's 
pleasure on." — The light\ as in 3^^^- -°, the light of day, or, as ^° 
calls it, " of life, "contrasted tacitly with Sheol, to which the sick 
man had drawn sufficiently near to be involved in its darkness. 


2^ Lo, all these things God doeth, 

Twice, thrice with man, 
^^ To bring back his soul from the pit, 

That he might ^ see his fill of^ the light of life. 
^^ Give heed, Job ; hearken to me ; 

Keep silence, and /will speak. 
^2 If thou hast ought to say, answer me ; 

Speak, for I desire to pronounce thee innocent, 
3" If not, do thou listen to me, 

Keep silence, and I will teach thee wisdom. 
XXXIV. ^ And Elihu answered and said, 

29. God repeatedly applies the methods j'ust described (^~^°), 
chastisements, dreams, angelic messengers. — Twice., thrice\ 

30. See his fill of\ cp.^^. f^ has been rather questionably 
taken to mean enlighten [hiin) with, or, still more questionably, 
be enlightened with: see phil. n. — Light of life\ the parallel 
terms of 3^*^ are here combined into a genitival phrase. 

31-33. Elihu invites Job to listen to further wisdom from 
his lips (^^- ^^), unless (^2) he has any words ready with which to 
reply to what Elihu has just said. To reduce Elihu's wordiness, 
Bu. omits ^^; fflr improved Elihu even more thoroughly by 
omitting ^i^-^^. With ^^^ cp. ^. 

XXXIV. I. Cp. 35^ and see above, p. 277. 

2-37. The second part of Elihu's refutation of Job. In the 
first part (33^"^*^) Elihu, though he cited (33^) Job's assertion of 
innocence, actually confined himself to meeting Job's complaint 
that God does not speak to him : here, once again (cp. 33^"^^ 
35^) summarizing Job's assertions (^^- ^), he takes up Job's 
claim to be righteous, with its corollary that God is the sub- 
verter of right, and, addressing himself at first (^"^^) to the wise 
(2- 10), and then (16-37 . note the 2nd p. sing, i^'- 2^) to Job, replies 
that Job is wicked C*^-), that God is not a subverter of right (^''~^^), 
nor can be, for He is beyond question {^^- 29-32) and supreme, 
unerring in the observation and unfailing in the punishment of 
wickedness (i*-28) . i^g concludes with the opinion of the wise, 
that Job speaks foolishly in multiplying his wicked words 
against God ("^~^'^). 

2-4. Let the wise, exercising their power of intellectual and 

XXXIV. 2-8.] ELIIIU 295 

2 Hear, ye wise, my words, 

And ye that have knowledge, give ear to me ; 

3 For the ear testeth words, 

As the palate tasteth ^ food ^. 
•* What is right, let us choose for ourselves ; 

Let us know among ourselves what is good. 
5 For Job hath said, " 1 am righteous, 

And it is God who hath taken away my right ; 
^ Notwithstanding my right, I am r in pain ^ ! 

My arrow(-wound) is incurable, though I am without 

'' Who is a man like Job, 

Who drinketh up scorning like water, 
^ And taketh his path to associate with workers of naughti- 

And to go with men of wickedness ? 

moral taste or discrimination (^ = 12^^ Job) c/wose (cp. Is. 7^^) 
or discriminate what is right and ^ood (Is. 7^*^) over against 
Job's blasphemous assertions. 

2. Ve wise] not the three friends (Bu.), for the tone of 
reproof used in addressing the latter (32'^^-) is no longer present, 
but a wider circle of wise men whom the author either pictures 
as gathered together to consider Job's case, or addresses by a 
literary convention (cp. "my son" in Proverbs). 

5 f. Elihu in part cites {^^ = 27^), in part summarizes Job's 
position; cp. 9^^.20 jqTe^ 

6. / am in pain] "^ I am to lie., which is supposed to mean 
I am to be accounted a liar when I maintain that right is on 
my side ; see phil. n. — My arro'vo[-'wou7id)\ the wound inflicted 
by God's arrows (6^). 

7. Cp. 15^^ (Eliphaz) "a man that drinketh up iniquity like 
water"; Elihu specifies derisive speech about God as one of 
Job's sins, and gives (as Eliphaz, 22^^^-, before him) a specimen 
in '-' ; but Elihu does not limit his charges against Job to sins 
of speech (Bu.) ; the terms in ^ {^^~\ px) are as wide as that in 
15^*^*^ (nhy). — Scorning] yj^, like the synonymous term (d''^'^) in 
Ps. i^, of scornful speech about God. 

8. Cp. 22^^ (Eliphaz). Elihu depicts Job as a man making 
a practice of selecting a path in which he could be sure of 
companions in wickedness. 

296 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIV. 9-13. 

^ For he hath said, "A man profiteth not 
By being well pleased with God." 

^o Therefore, [ye wise, give heed] ; 

Ye men of understanding, hearken to me. 
Far be it from God to do wickedness, 

And from the Almighty to do unrighteously. 
1^ For the work of man he repayeth unto him. 

And as (is) the path of each (such is what) he causes 

to befall him. 
^2 Yea, surely, God doth not do wickedly. 

And the AlmigJity doth not pervert riglit. 
13 Who entrusted to him the earth ? 

And who hath laid ^ upon him ^ the whole world ? 

9. The citation again is not exact (cp. on ^^•) ; but cp. g—- •"°^- 
jq3 2i7ff., An exacter parallel outside Job is Mai. 3^'*- 1^. In 35-^ 
Elihu substantially repeats his present charge, and then (not 
in this c.) proceeds to refute it; on this ground and because it 
comes in lamely here, Bu. rejects the present v. ; note also the 
occurrence oi^lohhn (see p. 232 n.). 

10. Ye wise, give heed] see phil. n. For 7oise and men of 
tinderstajiding (Heb. heart: 7^'^ n.), see ^* ; cp. 2-. Bi. Bu. 
Nichols om. \o^'^\ — C. d. Cp. 8^(Bildad). — To do 7nirighteously\ 
(5 to pervert justice, as in 8^ : see phil. n. 

11. So far from perverting justice i^^- 1^) by granting to the 
wicked prosperity and to the righteous adversity, God scrupu- 
lously and exactly makes a man's lot in life correspond to his 
deeds ^, and path of life, i.e. his conduct^. — Elihu here contra- 
dicts in general terms, as Bildad (8*) had contradicted in 
particular terms by reference to Job's children, the assertion 
{^'^ 8^) that God makes men suffer beyond their deserts. — 
a. The same principle is frequently stated in similar terms : 
see Is. 3^1, Pr. 121-''' igi^ Ps. 28'.— b. Lit., And the likeness 
of the path of a man (l*"n) he causeth to find him : on the idiom, 
see phil. n. Job's sufferings correspond to the wicked path (^) 
he had habitually followed. 

12. Cp. 10 and 8^. 

13. God does not do wickedly ('-) ; for (i^) He rules the earth, 
not as the deputy of someone else (cp. 36--'''^), but as supreme 
and answerable to none: consequently no one can call Him to 
account, and say to Him (jf'V-'''), Thou hast done wickedly : 

XXXIV. 13-16.] ELIHU 297 

^* If he were ""to cause his spirit to return ^ to himself, 
And were to gather unto himself his breath ; 

1^ All flesh would expire together, 

And man would return unto the dust. 

^^And if r thou hast^ understanding, hear this ; 

Give ear to the voice of my words. 
^"^ Can one that hateth right govern ? 

And wilt thou pronounce wicked the mighty just one ? 

consequently again He cannot do wickedly. Such seems to be 
the line of argument underlying the v., the idea of God's 
supremacy being further enforced in ^■*^- God may call the " sons 
of the gods " to account for unjust administration (Ps. 82), but 
the "sons of the gods," and still less men, have neither right 
nor power to call God to account : He can do no wrong. — Hath 
laid tipon hin{\ though uncertain, this rendering is preferable to 
the alternatives disposed (RV.), founded {i.e. at creation), 
observed, attended to (see phil. n.); for all these are open to 
the objections (1) that, whereas the first line expects the 
answer : No one, the second would require the answer : No one 
but He ; and (2) so interpreted, would obscure the line of 
thought suggested by ^. 

14 f. All human life is absolutely dependent on God, who 
creates human life by imparting spirit and breath (Gn. 2'', 
Is. 42^, Ps. 104"''), and ends it by withdrawing (Ps. 104^^, 
Eccl. 12}) these. God could, if He wished, demonstrate His 
supremacy by depriving every living thing of life in a single 
moment. Whether the further thought is present, that man's 
still living on proves God's benevolent care (Peake), or freedom 
from unrighteousness (cp. Bu. Di.), is doubtful. With the 
phraseology here cp. particularly Ps. 104-'': "He gathereth 
their breath, they expire, and return unto their dust " : Eccl. 
12", " the spirit returneth unto God." The spirit of life in man 
may be described either as man's spirit from its residing in man 
during life (so Ps. 104-^), or as God's spirit from its originating 
with Him (here, Ps. 104^'°). On the text translated above, and 
on \\ (quite illegitimately translated in RV. '■*^), see phil. n. 

16. Elihu turns from the wider audience (^~^^) to address 
Job in particular. 

298 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIV. 17-20. 

^^ Him who saith to a king, "Thou scoundrel"! 

And to nobles, " Ye wicked " ; 
^^ Who showeth not partiality to princes, 

Nor regardeth the opulent above the poor? 

17. The point of the question appears to be : God actually 
governs, and is ipso facto a lovci' and securer of right within His 
dominion ; for, ^ hatred and rejection of right brings govern- 
ment to naught : injustice and government are incompatible ; 
similarly, '^ God is the mighty just one : therefore He is not 
unjust, and you must not say that He is. Since whether the 
government of God and perversion of right, God and injustice 
are incompatibles, is the question that Job has raised, Elihu's 
questions imply assertions which, as Du. (cp. Peake) well 
points out, are really a petitio principii. 

18. Develops and expands the idea of "the mighty just 
one " in ^'^ : God is not deflected from the path of equity by the 
fear or favour of the great ones of the earth ; as their maker 
(^^'^) He is immeasurably mightier than they; kings and princes 
no less than the poorest of mankind, if they are wicked. He 
calls and treats as such ; men may, and too often do (Is. 32^), 
call wicked men in high places good : not so God. On the 
indefensible interpretation of jjH followed by EVV. see phii. n. 
— Scoundrel] Heb. fliyyaal, belial, the term used of various 
forms of contemptible or outrageous conduct, such as con- 
temptible niggardliness (Dt. is'-*, i S. 25^^ 30^^), outrageous 
sexual oflfence (Jg. 19^^), professional perjury (i K. 21^*^; cp. 
Pr. 19^^) ; here it is best taken widely as implying any form of 
peculiarly heinous wickedness. 

19c, 20a. The reason why God does not excuse wickedness 
in the rich and powerful is (^^°) that they are His creatures 
with whom He has no cause to curry favour, and the proof p°*) 
that they are wicked is the fact that such persons die suddenly. 
But this is awkwardly expressed, and the form of the distich is 
suspicious : see phil. n. — Ai midnight] death steals upon them 
when they are not expecting it : cp. 27'"^-, Jer. 49^^, i Thess. 5^, 
Lk. i2-'\ 

20b. C. |1? is corrupt, and the emended text not certain ; 
see phil. n. — Tlie opulent] v.^^'' ; "^ [the) people.— Smitten] of 

XXXIV. 20-23.] ELIHU 299 

For the work of his hands are they all ; 
20 In a moment they die and at midnig-ht : 
The f^ opulent T are ^ smitten \ and pass away, 

And the mighty are removed without hand. 
2^ For his eyes are on the ways of a man, 

And all his steps he seeth. 

22 There is no darkness, and there is no thick gloom, 

F^or the workers of iniquity therein to hide themselves. 

23 For not for a man doth he appoint a ^ stated time ^, 

That he should go before God in judgment. 
2* He breaketh in pieces mighty men without investigation, 

And setteth others in their place. 
2-^ Therefore he knoweth their works, 

And overturneth (them) in the night so that they are 


God II to ** without (human) hand" in °, the vb. being the 
pass. (Ps. 73^) of that used in i^^ (n.) 19-^ : %] shaken violently. — 
Without hancl\ mysteriously, not by the hand of men, but by 
God : see phil. n. 

21 f. As God allows no sinner, however powerful, to 
escape through fear of Him ^^^•, so He never, through limitation 
of knowledge, fails to observe and punish sin : He is omniscient. 
Cp. 22^^^-, where Eliphaz misrepresents Job, who, no less than 
the friends, admits (31"*) the omniscience of God, but draws the 
different conclusion that He must therefore be aware of his 
innocence (10'^). 

22. Ps. 139^^^-; Jer. 2324. 

23 f. The punishment of God descends on man in a moment 
(''^) ; for, being omniscient (^^^•), He has no need to be hindered 
by "law's delays"; unlike a human judge. He appoints no 
future day for the hearing of the case, nor has any need to 
carry on a lengthy and laborious investigation of it. The 
words seem to be directed against the wish which Job has 
expressed that the case between God and himself might be 
heard, and that the reason of God's treatment should thus 
be revealed (23^*^-), though he has anticipated Elihu in 
pointing out that as a matter of fact God and man do not meet 
at a tribunal (9^'"-^")' — ^^^ . . . a stated time\ Pj is most simply 
rendered : for of a man he takes 710 further notice; against this 
and other renderings of P^, see phil. n. 


26 [His wrath] shattereth the wicked, 

He slappeth them in the place of (all) beholders. 
2" Forasmuch as they turned aside from following him, 

And heeded none of his ways, 
28 That they might cause the cry of the poor to come unto 


And that he might hear the cry of the needy. 
^^ And if he giveth quiet, who then can condemn ? 

And if he hide the face, who then can behold him ? 

• ••••••* 


21 For unto God hath one (ever) said, "... 

• ••* •••• 

32 . . . do thou teach me : 

If I have done iniquity, I will do it no more." 

33 According to /"Adjudgment, . . . ? 

For thou must choose, and not I ; 
And what thou knowest, speak. 

25. If the V. is in place (Du. om. ^^, Bu. 25-28. ggg ^Iso phil. 
n. on 26)^ and rightly read, tJicreforc^ as in Is. 26^*, does not 
denote consequence, but develops what is implicit in what pre- 
cedes, here in 23f- {^Lex. 487^). 

26a. ^?, unsuitably : instead of the wicked he slappeth 
them, etc. See, further, phil. n. 

28. That they viight\ the consequence being represented as 
the intention : cp. e.g. Am. 2'^, Jer. 7^^ (Lex. s.v. tJ/'D^ ; cp. 775^^). 

29-33. These verses are as a whole unintelligible, the 
details being, if not unintelligible, then (as in 2'') very ambigu- 
ous, and the ambiguities, in face of the extreme uncertainty of 
the remainder, insoluble. In addition to its unintelligibility, 
the formlessness of much (2*'''- 20. 3i. 35^ Qf i-^e passage points to 
considerable corruption of the text. By the help of emenda- 
tions, necessarily conjectural, for ffi omits the vv. and the 
other VV. give no help, or by forced and utterly improbable 
interpretations of the existing text, translations have been 
attempted, but none, at least of -'"^'-3^a jg sufficiently probable to 
be reproduced above. One or two alternatives may be given 
here ; discussion of further details may be found in the phil. nn. 
Without emendation, and without attempting to make indi- 
vidual clauses more intelligible in English than they are in 

XXXIV. 33.] ELIIIU 30 1 

%}, the vv. m:i)- be icndercd : 2'' And (if) In: is (or, i^ivcUi) cuiict, 
who, then, can condemn? And (il) he hide the face, uiiu, 
then, can behold liim ? Both upon (or, toward, or aj^^ainst) a 
nation, and upon (or against) man tog-ether ; '•^'^ That the g-odless 
men reign not. That (there be) no snares of the people. ^^ For 
unto God hath one said, I have borne, I will not olTend (or, 
without offending) ; ^^ Beyond (that which) I see, do t/iou teach 
me : if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more. ^^ According 
to ///I' judgment, will he repay it? that (or because) thou hast 
refused it. For (or, that) thou shouldest choose, and not I : 
and what thou knowest, speak. If this strangely expressed 
passage \Vas really written originally as it now stands, it might, 
perhaps, with least improbability be explained (cp. Dr. in the 
Book of Job) as follows : — '^^ When God gives respite from 
tyrannical rule, who can condemn Him for indifference or 
injustice ? and w'hen He hides His face from the deposed tyrants, 
which of them can recover His favour? In acting as these 
questions suggest, God keeps in view alike the interests of the 
individual and of the nation, ^° preventing godless men from 
continuing to reign and from alluring the people to ruin. This 
point of view^ must be put, ^^ for Job has spoken as no one ever had 
done before him, asserting that he had suifered, though he had 
committed no offence, "^"^ insisting that God should show him 
the sins he knows not of, and saying that if he. has sinned (but 
not admitting that he has done so), he will do so no more. 
33 Elihu is satisfied with God's system of recompence : Job is 
not, but insists on one according to his judgment of what is 
fitting : it is for Job then, and not for Elihu, to choose what 
this alternative system of recompence shall be : let Job say 
what it is. Apart from minuter details, the chief difference 
among those who attempt to interpret the text as it stands, or 
as it has been variously emended, turns on the ambiguity of 
2^, and on the nature of the speech in ^ib. 32_ According to an 
alternative interpretation, -^ refers to the (seeming) inactivity 
of God ; even when God, in spite of cries for help C^^) directed 
to him, keeps quiet and hides his face so as not to give the 
help asked for, as many psalms show that he frequently seemed 
to do, man must not criticize, as Job has done (Du.). The 

302 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIV. 33-36. 

^* Men of understanding" will say lo me, 

And (every) wise man that heareth me, 
^ "Job doth not speak with knowledije. 

Nor are his words (uttered) with discretion, 
s^ Would that Job were tried unto the end, 

Because of (his) answers like those of wicked men." 

speech in sib. 32 yja.s not only been understood as above, but (i) 
as containing- a genuine and penitent confession of sin which 
certainly seems to be the most natural way to take ^^b^ the least 
suspicious and ambiguous line in the whole passage (Bu.) ; then, 
if -^^^ be left unemended, Elihu implies that Job has never made 
such a confession ( ' ' for unto God hath he ever said ? no, never ") ; 
or, if ^^°' be emended, it is (reading ">?-X for iDXn) an exhortation 
to Job to make such a confession, or (reading i^Knp) a state- 
ment of what is the fitting course to take when God seems 
inactive in the face of appeals for help ; or, (2) ^^- ^2 has been 
taken hypothetically, the virtual protasis beginning with ^^ 
(Du.). ^^ If unto God one hath said ... ^^ on thy account 
must he repay it ? In c. 21, Job had demanded the punishment 
of the godless as the price of his believing that the government 
of the world is moral, but if, says Elihu on this interpretation, 
the godless makes a penitent confession, must God still punish 
him in order that you may believe? This, too, involves 
emendation, and even the emended text states the hypothesis 
in an extraordinary manner (see phil. n.). 

34. All wise (cp. ^"■) and intelligent (cp. ^^^) men must agree 
with Elihu, that Job's wicked words against God display ignor- 
ance and lack of insight. 

35 f. The text is again uncertain ; but as Job is clearly 
referred to in the third person (ct. ^^- ^'^), it is better to take the 
vv. as continuing the citation of the opinion of the wise men 
begun in ^^ : the opinion cited is that which Elihu assumes 
must be that of those {^) for whom he had summarized in °^- 
Job's words. If the opening word of ^'^ (i^x) really meant J 
would that, and retained its force, the words of the wise would 
be confined to ^^, and with ^'^ Elihu would resume. 

36. Tried] cp. 7^^^. — Uti^o the end\ i.e. till he ceases from his 
ivicked answers. But the sense of '^^ may have been rather 

XXXIV. 36-37.] ELIIIU 303 

37 '* For he addeth unto his sin rebellion, 
Among' us he slappeth (his hands), 

And multiplieth his words against God.'* 

different; an emended text (see phil. n.) would read, But would 
that Job would let himself be warned for ever, And let him not 
class himself among wicked men. 

37. He addeth unto his sin rehellion\ i.e. he persists in sinning, 
becoming even more contumacious as fresh opportunities arise. 
With the idiom cp. Is. 30^, " to add sin unto sin" ; i S. 12^^, 
"We have added unto all our sins what is bad in asking for 
ourselves a king," and the different though similarly constructed 
phrase in Jer. 45^. — Rebellion^ the term (vk'D) often occurs as a 
mere synonym of other words for sin or iniquity ; so || to 
iniquity (py), 7^1 14^^ 31^^ 33^; to sin (nXDH) 13^^ and (son, 
vb.) 8'* 35^; if so used here, the entire phrase "add to sin 
rebellion " is merely a variant on *' add sin to sin." But the 
use of two different terms rather suggests that the second in 
contrast to the first is stronger ; so in S"* 35^ it stands, climac- 
tically perhaps, in the second line of the distich : yet in Ps. 32^ 
it stands first. Such a climactic use of j?:^s as contrasted with 
nXJ^n would be in accordance with certain usages of the nouns 
or vbs. ; the vb. ytJ'Q is used at times of political revolt or 
rebellion [e.g. 2 K. i^ i K. 12^^), whereas nxan starts from the 
less positive meaning of missing the mark (see phil. n. on 5-^). 
Yet even if a difference is intended here, it is a difference in 
the intensity rather than in the character of the sin : it is very 
doubtful, therefore, whether " sin " refers in particular to Job's 
earlier conduct, assumed by Elihu as by Eliphaz in c. 22, to 
have been evil, and rebellion to his speeches against God 
(Di. : cp. Dr.). Even more probably if ^^*- belong to the 
speech of the wise men of ^^, if " answers " in ^''^ is the correct 
text, and if '^~''° should be omitted, ^'^ would refer rather (like 
its parallel ■'^''°) to Job's persistent and increasingly violent 
blasphemous speeches. 

37b. The line is short and elliptical, and separates the two 
far more closely parallel lines ^ and '^. It may be out of place. 
— He slappeth his hands\ makes mocking gestures at God (cp. 
rather differently z'f^^). 

301 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXV. 1-3. 

XXXV. ' And Elihu answered and said, 
'^ Tliis lliinkcst thou to be rii^ht, 

(And) sayest (of it), " My righteousness before 

3 That thou sayest. What advantage hast thou, 

" Wherein am I better off than if I had sinned ? " 

XXXV. In this third part (cp. 33^ 34^) of Elihu's refutation 
much is awkwardly expressed ; and the argument is none too 
clearly articulated. Elihu starts afresh (cp. 34^) with a sum- 
mary of what he supposes Job to have maintained, viz. that 
righteousness does not pay (-^•), and argues (''"'') that God is too 
exalted to derive any benefit from Job's (or, implicitly, from 
any man's) righteousness, even if this were a reality. It is 
perhaps implied, though certainly not explicitly stated or even 
clearly indicated, that God accordingly is not, like human 
judges, deflected from the even course of justice by the receipt 
of bribes : consequently He does reward the righteous : and 
therefore righteousness pays. It is, then, only men who benefit 
by or suffer from the righteousness or wickedness of their fellow- 
men (^) ; but men do so benefit or suffer, and so there are both 
wicked oppressors and victims of oppression (^) ; these victims 
often cry to God for redress, and often, it is true, they are not 
heard (^^). This, however, is not because God is unjust, but 
because these very victims are not really religious {^^^- 1'^) ; and 
Job (though not the victim of oppression) is pre-eminently one 
of those who have not appealed to God in a truly religious 
spirit (1^-10). 

2f. Do you really think that you are placed in the right 
before God by your repeated (lONn, freq.) assertions that man 
gets no advantage from being righteous? — This\ viz, "that 
thou sayest," etc. (^). On different views of the construction 
and translation of 2^, see phil. n. 

3. Cp. 34^ with n. In ^ (hast) tJioii ( = Job) is indirect 
narration; in ^ / ( =Job) is direct; see phil. n. Richter takes 
the whole to be direct narration, so that thou in '' = God, and 
Job's saying consists of two questions : What advantage does 
God get? (cp. 22-). What advantage do I get? But this 
would probably have required more emphatic expression of the 

XXXV. 3 9.] ELIHU 305 

^ / will answer thee, 

And thy friends with thee. 
^ Look to the heavens, and see ; 

And behold the skies — they are hig-her than thou. 
'"' If thou hast sinned, what achievest thou ag"ainst him? 

And if thy transgressions be many, what doest thou unto 

him ? 
" If thou be righteous, what givest thou to him? 

Or what from thy hand doth he receive ? 
^ A man like thyself thy wickedness (affects). 

And a son of man thy wickedness ! 
^ By reason of the multitude of oppressions men cry out ; 

They call for help by reason of the arm of the "^mighty^ ; 

pronouns than is found in |^. Richter's view of the chapter is 
that Elihu is refuting the doctrine that religion is to be judged 
from the standpoint of utility ; but though it is true that ^- '^ 
deny that man's religion is useful to God, on the other hand 
'^'^^ are anything but a denial of the utility of religion to viaii : 
the argument there is not that man gets no advantage from 
being religious, but that victims of oppression fail to get the 
help they cry for because they are not really religious ; in other 
words, Elihu is attempting to harmonize certain obstinate facts 
with the eudasmonistic view of religion which he shares with 
the friends (cp. especially Eliphaz in c. 22), and with the Satan 
of the prologue ; but which the author of the prologue repudi- 
ates, and from which in the dialogue he depicts Job emancipa- 
ting himself. 

4. Thy friend s\ the three friends (G Bu. Di. Du.) must be 
intended, not the wicked men of 348-3^ (Del. Da.) who would 
scarcely have been referred to by the term elsewhere used for 
the three friends (2^^ 19-^ and ? 32-^). 

$-"]. Elihu proceeds to " answer" Job and his friends by an 
appeal to the transcendence of God which places Him beyond 
receiving either hurt or help from man — a point already urged 
by Eliphaz (22-*-) and admitted by Job (7-") ! 

5. God in heaven is beyond the reach of man : cp. 1 1'^"^ 
(Sophar) 22^'^ (Eliphaz). 

6f. In substance a repetition of 22-^- (Eliphaz) : cp. ']~^ (Job). 
8, 9. See the introductory n. to this chapter. 


06 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXV. 9-12. 

^'^ And none had said, " Where is God my Maker, 

Who giveth song's in ihe night: 
^1 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, 

i\nd malceth us wiser than the birds of the heaven." 
^2 There they cry out — but he answereth not — 

Because of the pride of the wicked. 

9. Oppressions] or, oppressors; see phil. n. — Call for help\ 
cp. 24^2. — Arm\ fig. for might: cp. 22^-^ n. 

10. II. The kind of confession which truly religious men, 
whether actually under oppression or not, ought to make, but 
which none of these victims (") of the violence of their fellow- 
men actually had made. Du. places ^^ before ^^, rendering ^*'^, 
And he {i.e. Job) said not. Possibly Elihu is actually citing 
some psalm; wath ^^^ cp. Ps. 42^ ^^^ — And none had said. Where 
is\ all these victims had neglected to seek God: cp. in Jer. 2^; 
the parallel clauses " said not. Where is Yahweh . . . knew me 
not . . . rebelled against me." — My Maker] cp. Ps. 95^. As 
addressed to Job, the terms of the question are ill chosen ; Job 
was not unmindful that God was his Maker; but the fact that 
He was such, so far from easing rather complicated the riddle of 
his sufferings (lo^^-). — Songs in the night] the night is fig. for 
times of suffering and sorrow (cp. Is. 2i^\ Ps. 30*^) ; in the very 
midst of distress, before the morning comes when His help 
would be more expected (cp. Ps. 46^ 90^^ 143^)) God suddenly 
intervenes and by His deliverances gives occasion for songs 

(Ps. 777 (6), Is. 24I6, Ps. 952). 

11. More than] he teaches the beasts: not from, by means 
of for the requirements of the present context are quite different 
from \2^. 

12. The v. is now most commonly (Ew. Di. Da. Del. Dr. 
Bu. Peake) taken as in the main resumptive of ^ — the oppressed 
cry out because of their treatment by those who are here called 
the wicked ; the fresh point, viz. that God does not answer 
these oppressed persons, is, on this view, introduced paren- 
thetically, the reason for their receiving no answer being 
suggested, though not formally expressed, in io.ii.i3. they do 
not seek God or pray sincerely. This is certainly very 
awkward ; and it is with a true instinct for what would be 

XXXV. 12-14.] ELIHU 307 

'^ Surely God doth not hear unreality^ 

Nor doth the Ahnij^hty behold it ; 
^* How much less when thou sayest (that) thou beholdest him 


(That) the cause is before him, and thou waitest for him. 

more natural that some {e.^. Hi.) have soug-ht in '-'^ the reason 
not for the cry, but for the cry remaining,'- unheard : they are 
not answered because they are proud ; on the other hand, to 
refer to the oppressed allusively as the wicked, when the 
oppressors have at least a better title to the term, is unnatural. 
For the pride of the wicked as the source of suffering to their 
fellow-men, cp. Ps. lo^, Zeph. 2^*'. 

13. Unreality] " mere empty complaining (^), not the voice of 
true religious trust (^^^•)," Dr. — Behold] favourably ; cp. Hab. i^^. 

14-I6. The connection is very obscure and uncertain ; and the 
transition from the address to Job in ^* to the reference to him 
in the 3rd pers. in ^^ is strange. This may be due to the loss 
or misplacement of entire lines or distichs. Taken by itself ^^ 
is easy and straightforward, and the lines of ^^ taken separately 
would present no great difficulty, but within ^^ some mutilation 
of the text has occurred. Di. suspects the loss of two lines 
between ^^^ and ^ : Du. places ^"^ between ^ and ^°, and takes ^^ 
with 36^. Nichols places ^^^- immediately after 34^'' and im- 
mediately before 34^^. V.^^ (in %^ or as emended above) is 
neither satisfactorily taken as complete in itself, nor as com- 
pleted by ^^. But the attempts to surmount these difficulties 
by further conjectural emendation or rearrangement are them- 
selves too uncertain to be embodied in the above translation. 

14. If God does not listen to those who call to Him without 
true religious feeling and resignation (^^), much less will He 
listen to Job who assumes a positively irreligious and complain- 
ing attitude. — T/iou beholdest him not] summarizing such sayings 
of Job as 13^* 23^^- 24^*^ 30-°. — That the cause, etc.] ''j unless 
emended, is most naturally taken (Di. RV.) as continuing, and 
parallel to. Job's words at the end of "* : in this case the 
meaning is : Job's cause (cp. 13^^ 23^, but there DQt^'O, here pi) 
lies unheeded before God, and Job waits in vain for God to give 
it attention. Less naturally the line has been taken as Elihu's 

3o8 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXV. 14-16. 

^^ And now, because 1^ his anger visiteth not \ 

And he carcth not greatly about ^ transgression ^ — 

*^ And Job openeth his mouth (to utter) emptiness ; 
Without knowledge he multiplieth words. 

reply to Job's objection in ^ : Nay, if thou sayest that thou 
beholdest Him not, (I say in reply) the cause is before Him, i.e. 
is receiving His attention, and thou shouldst wait patiently for 
His decision ; so RVm. Del. Bu. Emending Perl. Du. (cp. 
Peake) render, Be still before Him, and wait for Him, where the 
sense would indicate that the words are Elihu's reply. 

15. In this V. too, taken by itself, and as it stands in ^ or 
is emended above, it is most natural to take ^ as parallel to ^. 
But there are two serious objections to so interpreting the v., 
if it states the cause of which ^'^ gives the effect : for (i) this 
would naturally imply that ELihii thought God inactive in the 
face of transgression, which he did not ; and (2) it would give 
too secondary a reason for Job's speeches ; he had, it is true, 
referred to the failure of God to punish the wicked (cc. 21, 24^^), 
but it is the sufferings of the righteous that are the primary 
cause of debate. These objections are only partly met by the 
less natural interpretation of the v., which has been adopted in 
order to avoid connecting ^^ and ^^^ as cause and effect : accord- 
ing to this, ^^ means : And now because (hitherto) his ajiger has 
not visited (the evil-doers in circumstances such as those 
described in ^'^•), (You say) he careth not much about trafisgression : 
and so righteousness profits a man no more than sin i^- ^) ; ^^ is 
then an independent statement closing the speech. Both these 
methods of interpretation are so unsatisfactory, that the prob- 
ability of textual disorder is great. Du. (who places ^'^ before 
^^ and omits 36^), treating ^^ as exclamatory, and as the starting- 
point of a new division of Elihu's speech in which he does 
actually reply to the position assigned (implicitly) to Job in ^^ 
(see 36*'- ^- ^■'"^^), interprets 35^^ 36'^ thus : And now (as for your 
further assertion) that His anger punishes nothing, and that He 
troubleth Himself not much about iniquity, wait for me a little, 
and I will show thee. For another attempt to surmount the 
difficulties of the connection by conjecture, see phil. n. 
16. Cp. 34^^. 

XXXVI. 1-4.] ELIHU 309 

XXXVI. 1 And Elihu said further, 

2 Wait for me a little, and I will declare to thee ; 
For '^ P have yet words (to say) on behalf of 

2 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, 

And I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker. 
* For of a truth my words are not false ; 

He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee. 

XXXVI. XXXVII. In this final section of his speech, 
Elihu, after briefly justifying his continuing to speak ^-^j main- 
tains that God treats men severely or with favour according as 
they are righteous or unrighteous, ^"'^, and more especially 
according to the temper in which they receive disciplinary 
suffering, ^-^^ ; and Job, he points out, is viewing the fate of 
those who receive such suffering in the wTong temper, ^^-^ : 
he should rather (36--* 37^*) magnify God whose works are 
great, past finding out, or (37^^^') participating in ; who is 
therefore teacher, not taught, nor open to condemnation 
(37^"^")> ^^^ humbly to be marvelled at and praised by men 


2. JVazi a little] while Elihu sets forth his further defence 

of God. — / have] f^ {there are), or, the entire line in % might 
(Fried. Del.), but should not, be rendered, God has yet words {to 
say). — On behalf of God] cp. i^''' ^ 42'' 21--. 

3. In justifying God ^, Job will speak comprehen- 
sively ^. 

4. Elihu's words for God (-) are not, as Job had pronounced 
(i3'^^-) those of the friends to have been, false.— //e that is perfect 
in knowledge] here Elihu : in 37^*^, God. — Is with thee] is con- 
versing with thee. 

5-7. Without actually citing Job as in 33^"^^ 34^'- 35^^-, Elihu 
briefly states as the theme of what follows (down to 2^) that 
God is not, as Job had alleged, indiscriminate in His treatment 
of men ; this theme is then developed in ^"^^ In ^ (see on ^) 
two themes seem to be indicated : i. God's might and wisdom ; 
2. His discriminating treatment of men: both these themes 
are treated subsequently, but in the reverse order (God's might, 
etc. , from 36^^ onwards). 


5 Behold, God rejecteth not ^ the perfect \ 

^'■^ "^ And ^ keepeth not the ungodly alive. 

^■^ He withdraweth not his eyes from the rig-hteous, 

'^^ And he granteth the right of the wronged ; 

"•^ And with kings upon the throne, 

He caused them to dwell for ever, and they are exalted. 

5. PJ, awkwardly and with questionable rhythm, Behold 
God is mighty (34^'^) and rejecteth (8^") not {i.e. regards nothing 
and no one as too small to receive attention — Di.), Mighty 
in strength of heart, i.e. of intelligence (9* 34^* 7^'^ (i^-))- "^^^ 
translation above follows ^ (cp. 8"*^). — Rejecteth not the perfeci\ 
so ffir ; Du., conjecturally, rejecteth the hardened in heart, i.e. 
the obstinately wicked who persistently refuses to obey God : 
cp. Ex. 7^* 9'^. Between (G and Du. (see phil. n.) the choice is 
difficult ; it is in favour of Du.'s conjecture that it gives an 
entire distich to God's treatment of the wicked followed by a 
distich on His treatment of the righteous. 

6a. Job had asked, "wherefore do the wicked live" (21^): 
the answer is that Job is wrong as to the fact : the wicked do not 
live : God does not suffer it.— Keepeth not alive] cuts short life 
judicially, as Ex. 22^''; ct. Ps. 30* 33^^ 41^. As God keeps the 
righteous in life, not, of course, for ever, but to the full normal 
period of human life, so He cuts off the wicked long before that 
period is reached (^^). 

7 (with ^'^). While God rejects the wicked, bringing them to 
an untimely end ^- ^"', he never fails to look after the righteous : 
even though they may be wronged and for a time brought 
low. He rights them and greatly exalts them. — The wronged] 
Heb. '^anl, which " means properly one humbled or bowed down, 
especially by oppression, deprivation of rights, etc., but also, 
more generally, by misfortune . . . the dnl, while often, no 
doubt, a person in need, was primarily a person suffering some 
kind of social disability or distress " — Dr. in DB iv. 19. — 
7 b. C. Cp. 5I1 n. 

8-I4. The right and the wrong way of accepting discipli- 
nary suffering. 

8-II. The right way : men who are afflicted are to recognize 
that they have transgressed, to give up their sin and to serve 

XXXVI. 8-15.] ELIHU 3 1 I 

^ And if ^ he have^ bound them in fetters, 

(And) they be caught in the cords of affliction, 
^ Then he declareth to them their work, 

And their transgressions, that they behave themselves 

^0 And he uncovereth their ear to instruction, 

And commandeth that they return from naughtiness. 
1^ If they hearken "^ to his voice ^, and serve, 

They complete their days in prosperity and their years in 


12 But if they hearken not, a they pass away, 

And they expire without knowledge. 

13 And they that are godless in heart cherish (?) anger ; 

They cry not for help when he hath bound them. 
1* Their soul dieth in youth, 

And their life among the temple-prostitutes. 
1^ He rescueth the wronged by the wrong which he suffers. 

And uncovereth their ear by means of distress. 

God : their reward is release from affliction, length of days and 
prosperity : cp. 33^*"^*. 

8. // he have botmd ihem\ cp. ^^^' : f^ if {they are) bound. — 
Fetters . . . cords] fig. (cp. Is. 28") of calamities and afflictions 
rather than literally, so that there would be an allusion to 
captives [12^''''^'^) loaded with fetters (Ps. 149^, Nah. 3^°: 
Is. 45^"*) and bound with cords. 

9. Declareth] 33^^ — T]iciri!oork\ i.e. their evil work : cp. 33^''. 
— Behave proudly] or mightily: i5-'*n. ; Introd. § 41. 

10. Cp. 33!*^. II f. Cp. Is. i^-'^- On the text see phil. n. 
12-14. The wrong way of accepting suffering — angrily ^^^ 

and sullenly ^^^. 

13. Godless] 8^3 n. ; the godless in heart occurs here only. — 
Anger] against God : on the strangeness of the Hebrew ex- 
pression, see phil. n. — Thev cry ?iot] to God ; cp. 30-^ 38*1 
where, however, the object is expressed. 

14b. They die the premature death (see phil. n.) of a 
temple-prostitute. If the text may be trusted, these male 
devotees to unchast'ity {k'deshim: Dt. 23^^; see Dr.'s n. there) 
must, worn out by their excesses, have died, as a rule, at an 
early age, so that they became proverbial as victims of an 
untimely death. — Life] parallel to soul: see 33^^ phil. n, 

15. God uses the suffering inflicted on men by their fellow- 

3 1 2 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVI. 15-17. 

^^ But thou wast enticed away from (?) the mouth of confine- 
By amplitude without straitness, 

And by what was set on thy table which was full of 

1^ And of judgment on the wicked thou art full ; 
Judgment and justice take hold (on thee). 

men as a means of delivering and instructing sufferers who 
receive suffering in the right temper (cp. c. 35 with introductory 
n,). Possibly the v. consists of doublets of, or glosses on, 
6b. ioa_ D\ places it between ^^ and ^^. — T/ie ■wro7iged'\ '^ n. 

16-21. In ^'^^ Elihu has spoken in general terms of the 
righteous, the wicked, the wronged ; he now deals specifically 
with Job. The text is scarcely intelligible ; and details in the 
above translation are uncertain. Alternative translations of ^^■^'' 
by Di. and Du. will be found in the phil. nn. (p. 279 f.). 

16. Job has not learned by what he suffered ; on the other 
hand his ample and rich life had been his undoing: and (^") he 
now suffers the lot of the wicked. Others have understood the 
v. quite differently, viz. as applying the comfort of ^^ to Job's 
case: then render: Moreover he (z'.e. God) hath enticed thee 
. . . unto amplitude . . . and what is set on thy table is full, 
etc. ; or with Bu. making one or two slight emendations : 
Thee, too, he [i.e. God) entices out of the jaws of adversity; 
Amplitude, not straitness, is under thee ; And what is set on 
thy table is full of fatness. — ConJi7ie7tient\ -i\* (narrowness, fig. 
for distress, as 7^^ 38-^; cp. the vb. in 18'' 20") is exactly anti- 
thetical (cp. Ps. 4^) to width, amplitude (3m) in ^. But the 
entire phrase /row the month of iiarroioness (or, of the adversary 
— n\* as ig^^ and often) is extraordinary and perhaps corrupt. 
It is highly artificial to interpret, as some have done, month of 
confineinent as meaning the words or prayer addressed to God 
by a humble and patient sufferer. — Amplitude'] lit. width; 
see last n., and cp. Ps. iS'^^ 31^ ("a wide place," as fig. 
of prosperity). — Full of fatness] loaded with rich fare ; cp. 
Is. 25«. 

17. Judgment on the wicked] is punishment : cp. the use of 
the vb. pn, to judge, in Gn. 15^*: the v., then, if it has any 

XXXVI. 17-21.] ELIHU 313 

^^ For (beware) lest wrath entice thee into mockery ; 

And let not the greatness of the ransom turn thee aside. 
^9 Will thy riches be equal (to it) without affliction, 

Or all the exertions of strength ? 
20 Long not after the night, 

That peoples may go up ^ from ^ their place. 
^^ Take heed, turn not to iniquity ; 

For thou hast chosen ^ unrighteousness ^ rather than 


meaning, should mean Job is now suffering to the full the 
penalty assigned by God to wickedness. Others give the 
phrase the unparalleled meaning, the judgment passed by 
the wicked on God, and take the v. to be hypothetical : if you 
wickedly criticize God, God's justice will seize you. 

18. Extremely uncertain ; but apparently the meaning is : 
let not your anger at God's dealing with you lead you into 
irreverence ; nor the severity of your sufferings, which form 
the ransom, or price (33"^), which God will accept in lieu of 
your life, deflect you, from the resignation with which suffering 
should be received, into rebellion against God. Unsatisfactory 
are such alternatives as : Because (there is such a thing as 
the) wrath (of God, beware) lest thou be enticed by (thy) suffici- 
ency (cp. RV.); or. If (thou hast) wrath, let it not entice thee 
(Hi.). — 3fockery] lit. smiting (of the hands in mockery) : 
cp. 27^^ ; for the renderings chastisement, sufficiency ^ see 
phil. n. 

19. Also very uncertain : see phil. n. — Affliction\ "iv, as ^*'. 

20. Perhaps the most unintelligible of all these verses. Dr. 
explains : " challenge not the divine judgement (' night ' being 
named as a time of disaster, 34-''- 2*'), which may prove to be of 
a kind in which whole peoples perish. Job has often desired 
to meet God in judgement {e.g. 13^" 23^'^)." 

2lb. Or, For on this account hast thou been tried through 
affliction: see phil. \-\.^Unrigldeousness\ lij 2ipon this, which, 
referring to iniquity in ^, would express practically the same 

22-25. Let Job (^') join in the praise, which as human 
experience has shown, is called forth from men [^^^) by their 
sight, distant and incomplete (-^''), yet admiring (-^=^), of the 

314 THE BOOK 0¥ JOB [XXXVI. 22-27. 

■^2 Behold, God doeth loftily in his strength ; 

Who is a teacher like unto him ? 
23 Who (ever) assigned to him his way? 

And who (ever) said, "Thou hast wrought unrighteous- 
ness " ? 
2* Remember that thou extol his work, 

Whereof men sing. 
25 All mankind look on it, 

Man seeth it from afar. 
2^ Behold, God is great, and we know not (how great) ; 

The number of his years is unsearchable. 

mighty (-^^) work of God, who takes His orders from {"^^), and 
gives account to ("^^), none. 

22. Doeth loftily\ (nTi:'."!) far beyond (cp. "^^) man's compre- 
hension ; cp. Ps, 139^ "the knowledge (of God's ways) is too 
wonderful for me: it is lofty (naj^i'j)." — A teacher] the term ot 
God, as (probably) Is, 30^° : the idea is common in the speeches 
of Elihu (9f- 35I1 33i4ff. 3432), But the idea that God teaches 
*' through the operations of His providence" (Dr.) is not quite 
naturally introduced into the present passage ; and ^ Zvvd(nr)<;, 
lord, ruler, gives a far better parallel to ^ and transition to -3. 

23. Who ever, as His superior, laid down for God His line 
of action beforehand, or subsequently charged Him (as God was 
thought to charge the "gods" (Pss. 58. 82)) with having done 
His work badly? In view of 34^^, the alternative rendering of 
* (who ever visited upon Him, i.e. punished Him for, His way) 
is less probable. With *, cp. 21^^ ; with ^, 9^^. — His way^ 21^^ 

24. Sing\ cp. Ps. 104^^ in reference, as here (cp. 2^^-), to the 
works of God in nature : of God's forgivenness, c. 33"'^. 

25. Look on it] with delight : cp. 33-^ n. — b. Men catch 
only a far-off and therefore incomplete view of God's work (cp, 

26b. Cp. Ps 102^^ : the line is not related to what follows here, 
and is awkwardly followed hy for in ^7. Du. om. -*", Bu. -^^- ; 
but possibly ^^^ at most is out of place, or corrupt. 

27 ff. The illustrations of God's greatness and might (^2-25 
(2G=^)) are drawn from atmospheric phenomena: rain, 36-'^^' 
376^; snow, 37^"^; ice, 37^**; thunder and lightning, 36-'-'- ^^ 
372-1,1". . light, 3630- 3721^- ; winds, 37^- 21b; clouds, 37^^ (see also 

XXXVI. 27.] ELIIIU 315 

^"^ For he withdravveth •" drops from the sea"" ; 

^ He ^ filtereth ^ them ^ through as rain ^ from '' his mist ; 

under thunder) ; the sky, 37^^. With these illustrations are 
ming-lcd a reiteration of the general theme, 37^ ; reflections on 
the beneficent purpose of these works of God, 36^^ (cp. 2«'^) ; or 
their effect on the activities of men and beasts, 37^'- ^^, or of Job 
in particular, 37^''' ; an exhortation to Job, 37^* ; and a statement 
of the effect of the thunderstorm in particular on the emo- 
tions of Elihu, 37^. The illustrations in this last part of 
Elihu's speech largely anticipate the first part of the immedi- 
ately following speech of Yahweh, and some of them in a 
manner very unfavourable to unity of authorship. On the 
other hand, Bu. finds a strong argument for such unity by 
assuming that the thunderstorm described by Elihu is drama- 
tically conceived as approaching as he concludes his speech (cp. 
37^), and as raging when Yahweh speaks, 38^ The point would 
have more force if the description of the thunderstorm formed 
the climax to Elihu's speech ; as it is, it is mingled with the 
description of other phenomena, such as ice, which were 
presumably not to be observed at the moment of speaking. 
The passing backwards and forwards from one phenomenon 
to another, and the interspersion of reflections, etc., are only 
partly removed by omitting 3623^- 3713.15^ (Bu.), or 37'''^- ^^^ 

(Sgf.), or 3620. 27b. 2Sa 29-32 3^2-4. 6b. 11. 12a. b. 13 (NJchols, who 

regards the vv. as '* a psalm of the Rainstorm," and ffi which, 
however, also omits much more). Honth. rearranges as 
follows : 3627f. 31. 26 375b-io. 1.5a 3529f. 32f. 3711-24, 

27 f. The production of rain. — "The author knows that 
clouds are formed by evaporation from the sea ; the author of 
the divine speeches (38 ff.) is still ignorant of this, and assumes 
that God has somewhere store-houses for the atmospheric 
elements. . , . The author of the Elihu speeches must have 
lived a few centuries later than the poet, and had, probably 
through some Greek influence, acquired some new knowledge 
of physics " (Du.). 

27a. ^ for he laithdraweth the drops of rani; this is 
obscurely expressed ; it may have meant the same as the 

3l6 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVI. 27-32. 

28 Wherewith the skies pour down, 

(And) drop upon many men. 

29 ""And who^ understands the outspreadings of the clouds, 

The crashing-s of his pavilion? 
^° Behold, he spreadeth his '' mist ^ about him, 

And he covereth (with it) the '^tops^ of the ^ mountains '. 
^1 For by means of these he ^ nourisheth ^ peoples ; 

He giveth food in abundance. 
^2 He covereth both hands with the light, 

And commandeth it against the '^ mark '^. 

emended text translated above ; others render "^ he draiveth 
down, viz. from the " waters above the firmament" (Del. Du.) ; 
or questionably, he gathers, collects, viz. from the atmosphere 
(Bu.). — b. See phil. n. — Mist\ or clotid, seems to be the mean- 
ing of the obscure word ''ed here and in "^^ ; in any cslsq flood 
(so Assyr. 'edit), preferred by many in Gn. 2^^- (see Skinner, ad 
ioc), is unsuitable here. 

28. Afafiv me?i] or perhaps, in showers on men : see phil. n. 

29. The v., if the text may be trusted, refers to the clouds 
of (^) the thunderstorm. — And who iinderstands\ "^ Yea, can one 
understand. — His pavilio?t\ i.e. the thunder-cloud: see phil. n. 

30. The clouds, and in particular, perhaps, as most take it, 
the thunder-clouds (though for these "mist" (cp. ^'^) is not 
perhaps the most suitable term), screen God, and also, settling 
on the mountain tops, blot them out from sight ; cp. Ex. 19^^. — 
Mist^ ^ tight : see phil. n. — ( With it) the tops of the niou7itains\ 
^ the roots of the sea : see phil. n. 

31. The beneficent eff'ect of God's activity in producing 
rain (cp. Is. SS^*') would be more naturally described immedi- 
ately after -^ (Bu. Honth. Peake). — Nourisheth] "^ jiidgeth, ^ in 
this case referring to the destructive thunderstorm of -^^•, ^ to 
the fertilizing rain of ^'^■. But the structure of the verse does 
not suggest an antithesis. — By means of these\ if ^^ immedi- 
ately followed ^^ the streaming skies of that v. are referred to : 
if not, these must be explained more generally of (Dr.) "the 
agencies of rain and storm alluded to in 2"-30_" 

32. The v., strangely expressed, appears to mean that God 
fills His hands from the volume of light that encompasses Him 
(see phil. n. on ^'^), and despatches the light so seized earth- 



33 "" The thunder^ declareth "" his indijj^nation ', 
' And T the storm ' proclaimeth liis ^ anger. 
XXXVII. ^ Vca, at this my heart trembleth, 
And leapeth out ot its phice. 

2 Hearken unto the rumbling of his voice, 

And to the muttering that goeth out of his 


3 He letteth it go under the whole heaven, 

And his light(ning) to the ends of the earth. 
* After it a voice roareth ; 

He thundereth with his majestic voice ; 
And he delayeth not "^ his lightnings \ 
^ From his mouth ^ his voice is heard. 

wards in the form of lightning. " But as though the poet had 
shrunk from carrying this half-mythical conception of God as 
the lightning-slinger further, he does not say "in order to 
sling it," but more in the spirit of his religion afid cornmandeth 
it against'''' (Di.) : on the other hand, Du. by emendation makes 
the figure still clearer : On the sling he balanceth the light. 
And slingeth it against the mark. 

33. The above translation is very conjectural, but at least 
more probable than fif, his shouting (or, more questionably 
rendered, his war-cry^ or, as taken by ^ A'S, SSU, his friend) 
declareth concerning him, the cattle also co?iceming hitn who, or 
that ivhich, conieth up : see phil. n. 

XXXVII. I, 2. An expression of Elihu's emotion at the 
thunderstorm (^), and C^) an appeal to Job (and the friends — 
2a|i|, not (5 (0)) to listen to it. Originally (cp. (5), perhaps 
both vv. were addressed to Job alone, and read : At this do not 
thy inward parts ((5 36-^ = ^ 37^) tremble, And doth not thy 
(G) heart leap out of its place? Hearken thou unto, etc. 

2. His voice] the thunder; see Ps. 18^* ^^^^ " uttereth his 
voice" II "thundereth," zg^-^, i S. 7^^ Ex. g^^ " voices of God." 

3. The roll of the thunder fills, and the blaze of the lightning 
lights up, the whole expanse of sky and earth — poetical hyper- 
bole, which scarcely proves that the writer shared the popular 
(ct. perhaps 36-"^) conception of the smallness of the earth 
(Du.). — The ends] lit. wings or skirts : cp. 38^^, Is. 11^2 2416^ 

4. Ifis lightnings, from his mouth] ^] the7n {i.e. the lightnings) 

3 1 8 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVII. 4-7. 

5 A He doeth wondrous thing's [past finding out], 

Great things which we cannot comprehend ; 
^ For he commandeth the snow, " '' Saturate ^ the earth " ; 

The downpour '^and^ the rain, "^ Drop down ^. 
"^ He sealeth up the hand of every man. 

That all ^ men ^ may know his work. 
8 Then the beasts go into lairs, 

And rest in their dens. 

w/ien ; an alternative emendation giving a better parallel is : 
He restraineth not his /hroa^ {cp. Is. 58^), From his mouth, etc. : 
see phil. n. 

5. At the beginning of the v. in f^ stands, increasing- the 
tautology of *, the line, God thunders with his voice, a virtual 
repetition of *^. The remainder of the v. (cp. 5^), translated as 
above, resumes (after the completion for the present of the 
description of the thunder in ^) the general statement of God's 
marvellous action (cp. 36-*^), in order to illustrate this afresh 
from the phenomena of snow (^ introduced hy for, as in 36^^ 
atter 3626). 

6-8. The snow and heavy rains of winter, which do their 
work at God's bidding, fertilizing the earth, and C^) stopping for 
the time man's labour in the fields, and (^) driving the beasts to 
shelter, are illustrations andproof of (^) God's marvellous activity. 

6. Saturate] cp. Ps. 65^^ and (with snow) Is. 55^*^. ^ 
means, if anything. Fall (to the earth). — The downpour] not 
"shower" (RV.): for dcj is the heavy continuous rain of 
winter (Ca. 2^^, Am. 4'^, Ezr. 10^) ; in virtue of its fertilizing 
function (Lv. 26*, i K. 17^*, Is. 44^* 55^°) it was primarily 
regarded as a blessing (cp. Hos. 6^), though it might also be 
an agent of destruction (Gn. 7^^, Ezk. 13^^). — ^ is overloaded 
in ||^ : see phil. n. ; as otherwise emended the line would read. 
And the downpour of His mighty rains, which gives a poorer 
parallelism, or. And the downpour and the rain, "Be strong." 

7. In winter man's hand must cease from (outdoor) work ; 
or (emending. He sealeth up every man) men must stop at home. 
Hrz. Di. cite Homer's (//. xvii. 549 f.) description of Zeus: 
09 pd re ep<yo3v avOpoiirov^ aviiravaev eTrl ■^Oov'i. ^ in ^ may 
be rendered either, that he may know all the men whom he 


XXXVII. 7-11. J E1.I11U 319 

8 Out of the chamber cometh the whirlwind, 

And out of the ^ store-houses ^ (?) the cold. 
10 By the breath of God ice is given, 

And the breadth of the waters is narrowed. 
^1 Yea, he ladeth the thick cloud with Mightning- ', 

(And) the cloud scattereth its light ; 
12 And it [goeth hither and thither] round about, 

Turning itself by his guidance. 
To do whatsoever he commandeth them, 

Upon the face of his habitable world, 

hath made, or, that all the men whom he hath made may 
know (it) ; neither is satisfactory ; see phil. n. 

9-IO. The cold of winter and its freezing of water : cp. 38-^^-. 
It is more probable that ^ refers to the store-houses where wind, 
cold, etc., were thought to be kept in readiness for God's use 
(cp. 38-^, Ps. 135'^, Ecclus. 43^'*) than to the regions from which, 
or the seasons, defined by the rising of stars and constellations, 
at which storm and cold come ; but there are peculiarities and 
uncertainties in the text; see phil. n. — CViamber] synonymous 
with "treasury" (38'^^) rather than (RV.) an abbreviation for 
"chamber of the south" (g^ n.), or (Hoffm.) the name of a 
constellation. — Whirlwind] cp. 21^^, Is. 21^. — Siore-houses] f^ 
scatierers, winnowers, which has been taken as an epithet for 
(north) winds, or for a constellation (U Arcturus). 

10. The cold wind freezes the streams and pools (Ecclus. 
4320), which, shrinking, as they freeze, from the edges, become 
narrower. But, the contraction of water through frost is a 
much less conspicuous phenomenon than its solidifying (cp. 38^° 
and Ecclus. 43"°): and so, some (Bu.) take ^ to mean: the 
whole broad expanse of waters is constrained, i.e. congealed, 
frozen. Ehrlich emending in ^ [melts for is given), and render- 
ing becomes fluid (instead of is 7iarrowed) in ^, refers the v. to 
the melting of the ice by the warm breath of God : cp. Ps. 147^^. 
— The breath of God] the wind : so Is. 40'^. 

11. Description of the thunder-cloud and lightning resumed 
(cp. 36-^-37^). — Lightning] or, by an equally slight emendation, 
hail (cp. hail and thunder and lightning in Egypt, Ex. g^^- 34j . 
'^ saturation, i.e. moisture; but see phil. n. — b. On the in- 
correct translation of RVm. see phil. n. 

320 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVII. 12-15. 

^'^ Whether it be for a rod T and T for ^ a curse ^, 

Or for mercy, that he causeth it to find (its mark). 
1' Hear this, O Job, (and) stand still ; 

And consider the wonderful works of God. 
^^ Knowest thou about God's ordaining- '^ his works T, 

And causing the light of his cloud to shine? 

12. The lightning, which flashes in jagged lines, does not, 
as it might seem, move first this way, then that, at random, 
but always under the guidance of God (cp. sS'*"'), to fulfil His 
purposes of (^^) punishing or blessing men. — //] The light(ning) 
(Bu. Dr. Peake), not the cloud (Di. Del. Da.) of ^^.—Goeth 
hither aiid thither\ see phil. n. : cp. the same vb. of God's 
"arrows" {i.e. lightnings) in Ps. 77^^. — Turning itself \ the 
vb. used in Gn. 3-^. — Tiiem^ i.e. the flashes of lightning; or, 
emending, it, i.e. the lightning. 

13. Rod\ 21**. — And for a curse] ffe? has been rendered (i) or 
for his earth, which between "for a rod" and "for mercy" 
(clauses of identical form) is altogether heterogeneous and im- 
possible ; or (2) if {that be) for {the good of) his earth, which is 
scarcely more probable. Emendation is necessary : with the 
translation above (Du.), cp. En. 59^ : They lighten for a blessing 
and for a curse as the Lord of Spirits willeth. An alternative 
emendation (Dr. al.) is to omit or, leaving a rod for his earth. — 
Or for mercy] " viz. for the deliverance of His people from their 
foes (Ps. 18^*, Is. 30^°- ^1) " — Dr. ; but a national allusion is not 
altogether probable. Certainly thunder and lightning are not 
generally mentioned as agents of mercy (yet cp. En. 59^) ; Bu. 
therefore (since it would be awkward to refer back to the cloud 
of ^^) omits the v. Since with ^"^ Elihu takes a fresh start, this 
V. might perhaps be regarded as a conclusion, not merely to ^^^•, 
but to the whole section beginning with ^ : God does wonderful 
things ^, as illustrated in *'"^^, whether ^^ to punish or to bless. 

15-I8. Questions after the manner of, and in some degree 
anticipating, the speech of Yahweh (c. 38 f.), and intended to 
imply that Job has not knowledge of, and cannot (^'^) perform, 
the works of God. 

15. Knoivest thou] cp. 38"'' 39^^'. — Ordaining his 7vorks] P^ 
laying {his charge) upon them, i.e. the natural agencies just 

XXXVII. 15-20.] ELIHU 32 I 

16 Knowest thou the balancings of the clouds, 

The wonders of him that is perfect in knowledge? 
^^ Thou whose garments are warm, 

When the earth is still by reason of the south wind, 
^^ Wilt thou with him beat out the skies (into a firmament), 

(Which are) strong as a molten mirror? 
13 Make f^me^ to know what we (men) shall say to him ; 

We cannot state our case by reason of darkness. 
20 Should it be told him that I would speak? 

Or did ever man say that he would be swallowed up? 

described. Parallel to the general reference to God's works in " 
is the special reference to the marvel of the lightning in ^ ; in '^ the 
special marvel of the (rain-laden) clouds poised in the air in ^ is fol- 
lowed by the general reference in ^. So at least in the present 
text ; but ^^* is clumsy, and ^*^'^ rather uncertain : see phil. n. 

17. Every time a sirocco is coming, in the stillness that 
precedes it. Job suffers from the suffocating heat ; if he is thus 
a helpless victim of forces that God controls, can he really (i^) 
perform mighty works like God? — South whid] elsewhere in 
the OT. the sirocco, which blows up from the deserts E. and 
S.E. of Palestine, is termed the east wind ; but cp. Lk. 12^^. 

18. ffi omits this v. : Bi. Du. place it before ^^ ; Ehrlich, 
before 38*. — Can Job, like (40^^ n.) God (Gn. i^), create the 
firmament ? Can he beat out that vast solid metal-like {^ ; cp. 
Dt. 28-^) fixed expanse of sky ? The firmament was a solid sur- 
face supporting above it waters, which could only come through 
when the "windows" of this firmament, generally closed, were 
opened (Gn. i^ 7'^'^).— Skies] cp. (|| to " heavens ") 356, Pr. 828, 
Ps. 36^ 57^^' But the word may also refer more particularly 
to the clouds (cp. 38-^'^ (|| "water-skins of heaven"), Ps. 77^^ 
(II "clouds")) in which sense Bu. understands the term here. 
But ^ (of which Bu. takes no account) is very unfavourable to 
this. — Molten mirror\ the ordinary mirror was a polished metal 
(Ex. 38^) surface. 

19. Me\ most MSS of ^, us\ i.e. Elihu and those like- 
minded with him (cp. 34^). — Darkness] ignorance : cp. Eccl. 2^2^-. 

20. For ignorant (i^^) man to utter to God a case against 
Him would be equivalent to seeking his own destruction — an 
unheard of thing (^o^^), which Elihu has no desire to attempt (2"*), 


32 2 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVII. 20-21. 

21 And now men saw not the H.e;"ht, 
It was obscure (?) in the skies ; 
But a wind passed and cleansed them. 

unless, indeed, Job, who has often expressed a wish to speak 
to God, could, in reply to Elihu's ironical request {^^'^), tell 
him what words he might safely plead. Such, if P^ is correct, 
appears to be the meaning and connection. Du. cleverly 
emends : Hath He (God) a reprover when He speaks, or doth 
a man say that He (God) is perplexed? But see phil. n. — 
Swalloivcd i(p] destroyed, by God ; cp. 2^ n. 

21-24. The conclusion of Elihu's speech is exceedingly 
obscure and ambiguous, in spite of the fact that, with the 
exception of one word ("ITI^, meaning perhaps obscure, perhaps 
bright (see phil. n.), in -i**), the vocabulary is unusually familiar. 
The tristich in ^^, and the rhythm in ^3^ suggest that the 
obscurity may be partly due to the loss or misplacement of lines 
or clauses. The point of the whole is expressed in 2^, which 
probably means : men in general fear God % let Job do the 
same (implied) ^. In what precedes ^*, it is possible to suspect, 
though not to discern with any certainty, allusions to certain 
remarkable observations or theories of natural phenomena. 

21. The opening phrase And now is ambiguous, and has 
been understood temporally of the present in contrast whether 
to the past or the future, or (as in 35^'') consequentially, as 
drawing a conclusion from what has been j'ust said. Among 
the translations and interpretations which have been proposed, 
there may be noticed : " (i) * And now men cannot look upon 
(nx"i in this sense without n as Pr. 23^^) the light ( = the sun, 
as 3 1"''), ^ (When) it is bright in the skies, ^ And the wind hath 
passed and cleansed them " : so Ros. Ew. Da. RVm. and (at 
least in preference to RV.) Dr. Peake ; but on this view of, 
•^ is obviously otiose ; the sun shining brightly in a clear sky is 
always too dazzling to look at, and not only just after a wind 
has cleared clouds away; moreover, in * "cannot" would be 
more naturally expressed by the impf. ; it rnust here, if correct, 
be explained as a paraphrase of: "men, as we know from 
experience, do not " ; and, further, " When it is " in ^ would be 

XXXVII. 21-22.] ELIIIU 323 

^ Out of the north coineth ^spIeiidour\ 
Upon God is terrible majesty. 

more naturally expressed by a different order of words (xini 
imd). The connection with '^- on this view is: If men cannot 
look on the sun, how much less on the majesty of God. (2) 
"And now men see not the light, (Though) it is bright in {i.e. 
behind) the clouds (on the alternative renderings "clouds" and 
"skies " see ^'^ n.), But a wind passeth over and cleanseth them " 
(and then men do see the sun) : so U (in " and ") Hi. Del. RV. 
(virtually). This is taken to be a figurative way of saying that 
God now hidden may at any moment reveal Himself. But the 
use of pf. tenses or the impf. with waw consec. throughout 
renders any translation involving such a sharp contrast between 
present and future most improbable. (3) Bu. emends and 
renders, And now we see not the light, While it is obscure 
owing to the clouds, But the wind passeth over, etc., and 
interprets the v. of the weather actually prevailing at the 
moment when Elihu is speaking ; the sun is for the moment 
obscured by the thunder-cloud, but the cloud will pass, and 
(22^) the sky clear up from the northwards. The use of the 
tenses in ^ is as unfavourable to this view as to the last. (4) Du. 
places ^^^ (It is bright in the sky) after ^^^, with which it 
forms a quite possible distich ; and ^i^- <= after ^^, taking ^i^- c 
precariously as conditional : And if (at any time) men see not 
the light (owing to clouds obscuring it), A wind passes over 
and cleanses it (?). 

22. T/ie north\ is not here introduced as the quarter from 
which the ancients obtained their gold (for see phil. n.), or as 
the quarter in which the sky cleared up (2^°) after rain, for 
according to Pr. 25-^ the N. was the proverbially rainy quarter ; 
but more probably (Dr.) " the allusion may be to the Aurora 
Borealis, the streaming rays of which, mysteriously blazing 
forth in the northern heavens, may well have been supposed to 
be an effulgence from the presence of God Himself" (cp. ^) ; 
from the N. came the chariot of Ezekiel's vision (Ezk. 1*): in 
the N. was the seat of the Most High (Is. 14^^). — Splendour] 
"^gold; see phil. n. 

324 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVIl. 23-24. 

23 The Almi<4^hty — we have not found him out : 

Great in strength and judg-ment, 

And abounding- in righteousness, he doth not "^ pervert ^. 
2* Therefore men fear him ; 

He seeth not any that are wise of heart. 

23. God is incomprehensible, yet we know enough to assert 
that He is righteous : this seems to be the meaning, though it 
is loosely expressed. — We have not found him out] discovered 
Him, fathomed the wisdom that rules His action ; cp. 11^, where, 
however, as also in Eccl. 3^^, the obj. is not personal ; and in 
23^ (Job's wish that he might find God) where the obj. is 
personal as here, but the sense rather different. — b. C. %} may be 
rendered as above ; iJH, much less probable, means He is great 
in strength, and He doeth no violence to (lit. afflicteth not) 
judgement and abundance of righteousness ; see phil. n. — 
Pervert] sc. j'ustice (cp. 8^ 34^"^), or subvert, sc. a man in his 
cause (cp. 19*'). ^ may mean either a^z'ct (so fH), or answer, 
viz. man's questions (but see 38^ and even 33^'**^-). 

24. This V. also is awkwardly expressed : but ^ is clear, 
and the meaning and implication of the whole apparently is : 
ordinary men fear God ; so should you ; for to the wise in their 
own conceit (qui sibi videntur esse sapientes : U), God pays no 
regard (cp. 5^^). — Seeth] regards, pays heed to: cp. Ps. 138^ 
and (with a different vb.) 35^^. 

XXXVIII.-XL. 2. Yahweh's speech in reply to Job, 
now separated from Job's appeal at the end of c. 31 by the 
interpolated cc. 32-37: see Introd. Yahweh now responds to 
Job's frequently expressed and (31^^) just reiterated wish that 
He would answer him; but not, as he had asked (31^^"^'^ and 
previously 13"^), by formulating charges which were, as soon 
as formulated, to be shown to be baseless, but, as he had feared 
^gS. us. j^^o-as)^ overwhelming him with questions which he 
cannot answer ; and yet, if not altogether as he had hoped, by 
no means altogether as he had feared ; for Yahweh's questions 
are not directed, as Job had feared (9I6-20. 23-35^^ towards impugn- 
ing Job's integrity, or fastening on him the guilt of sins punish- 
able by such si'fferings as his had been ; but towards showing 
Job that in maintaining his own he had in his ignorance im- 


pugned God's integrity. The current theory of sin and suffering 
had led the friends through ignorance to condemn Job, and 
Job through ignorance to obscure the wider purposes of God 
and to misrepresent Him. Job had been right in maintaining 
his integrity and that his sufferings were not due to his sins, as 
Yahweh subsequently (42'^) makes clear : he had been wrong 
in passing beyond this matter of personal knowledge, and in 
reproving God whose range of purpose and action lay so far 
beyond his knowledge. The main point of the speech that 
Job in his ignorance had misrepresented God is briefly put in 
the challenging questions with which the speech opens (38^) 
and closes (40-). The main body of the speech (38'*-39^*^), also 
consisting for the most part of questions, is designed to bring 
out the immensity of Job's ignorance and the greatness of God's 
knowledge and His beneficent use of it. These questions fall 
into two main groups, referring (i) to the inanimate world, its 
creation and maintenance, 38*"^^; and (2) to animals, and in 
particular wild animals, their maintenance and habits, 38^''-39^*'. 
The first group of questions refers in detail to the creation of 
earth (^-'^), and sea (^-i^) ; the succession of night and day (^2-15) . 
the extent of the sea (i*^), of the realm of death (i^), and of the 
earth (^^) ; the home of light and darkness (^^^•), snow and hail 
p), wind {"*) ; the descent of rain and lightning to the earth 
(25-27) ; the origin of rain, dew and ice (28-30) ; the stars {^^-^) ; 
clouds and lightning p*^-), clouds and rain (^^f-). The animals 
which form the subjects of questions are lions 2^^-, (ravens *^ n.), 
wild goats 39^"*, wild asses ^-^, wild oxen ^-^2^ ostriches '2-i8^ 
horses ^^-"^, hawks and vultures ^^-so — Q^g domesticated (the 
horse), the rest wild. Some of these passages (39^^"^^- ^^"-^) have 
been suspected of being interpolations, but for reasons that are 
inconclusive : see on 39^^-^^. 

I. Va/iTveh] as 40^- ^- ^ 42^ and throughout the Prologue 
and Epilogue; (see Introd. § ig).— Job] is mentioned by name, 
although he was the last speaker (cc. 32-37 being an interpola- 
tion) and had but just finished speaking, in accordance wnth 
the writer's manner; cp. i''^-, And the Satan answered Yahweh 
. . . and Yahweh answered the Satan: and so i^- ^2 2*- «. — 
T/ie tempesi\ (niyo) which was considered to be the normal 


XXXVIII. ^ And Yahweh answered Job out of the tempest, 
and said, 

2 Who is this that darkeneth the purpose (of God), 

With words (spoken) without knowledge? 
2 Gird up thy loins now like a mighty man ; 

And I will ask thee, and declare thou unto me. 

accompaniment of a theophany: cp. Ps. 18, Hab. 3, Ps. 50^ 
And fire goeth before Him, and round about it is very tem- 
pestuous (myb:), Nah. i^, Ezk. i^. Zee. 9^* (all myo), Ps. 83^^ 
(lyo). Out of this tempest there now comes the voice of God 
(cp. Ezk. I*- 2^, ct. I K. 19^^^) challenging and questioning, 
but not, as Job had feared, crushing him (9^^). On Bu.'s view 
that the tempest is that described in 37-^- see on 36-^*- 37^^ 

2. The question implies a double rebuke : (i) Job has spoken 
ignorantly, ^ ; and (2) he has thereby obscured what should be 
plain, viz., that a divine purpose underlies the constitution and 
maintenance of the world, *. The questions that follow have 
a corresponding double aim : they suggest the repeated answer 
that God knows and Job does not, and that God achieves, as Job 
cannot, the end to which His knowledge is applied (cp. 42^). — 
Darkeneth^ i.e. hides or conceals (cp. 42^); cp. Ps. 139^^. The 
darkness darke?is not from Thee. — The purpose^ in Hebrew unde- 
fined [purpose, or a purpose) and used with the widest reference to 
God's purpose or purposes in the world-order ; for the meaning 
of the word (ni'y), though in several of the following passages it 
is cited of more special plans or purposes of God, cp. Ps. 33^, For 
He spake and it came to pass ; He commanded, and it held good 
(lit. stood) : Yahweh frustrateth the purpose of the nations, An- 
nulleth what the peoples devise : The purpose of Yahweh holdeth 
good for ever. What His heart deviseth to all generations ; 
Pr. 19^^, Many devices are in a man's heart. But Yahweh's pur- 
pose is realized (mpn) ; Is. 19^^, The purpose of Yahweh which He 
purposeth against it; 46^°, What I purpose is realized (oipn Tlliy), 
and what I wish I do ; see also Is. 5^*^, Mic. 4^2^ jej-, ^^20^ 

3. Gird up, etc.] prepare for action (12-^ n.) ; into the com- 
ing conflict of argument with God, Job, like a warrior (iJH like 
a man), must enter with loins girt (Is. 52^). 

XXXVIII. 4-5.] YAHWEH 327 

* Where wast thou when I founded the earth ? 

Declare, if thou hast understanding". 
^ Who fixed the measures thereof, since thou knowest? 

Or who stretched the line over it ? 

4-7. The creation of the earth. — The earth is represented 
as a vast buildings carefully cnstructed according- to plan (^), 
and its foundation stones laid {^) to the jubilation of the on- 
lookers C^) ; Job was not among these onlookers, and had no 
part in or first-hand knowledge of the ceremony (cp. 15"^-), 
though he has spoken as if he had (^^- ^^). For earth conceived 
as a building, cp., if Esharra is the earth (so Zimmern in KAT^ 
496, 5 TO, after Jensen), the Babylonian poem of Creation, iv. 
143 ff. (Rogers, 67^32): And the Lord measured the construc- 
tion (Zimmern: building"; see Jensen's note in KB \i. 344) of 
the Deep, And he founded Esharra {i.e. the earth), a mansion 
like unto it, The mansion Esharra which he built like 

4. If Job was present at Creation (^) and if thereby ^ he 
acquired wisdom (cp. 15^^), let him answer the questions that 
follow in ^^". — Founded\ so commonly with the earth as obj. : 
see Is. 48^3 5113. w Zee. 12I, Ps. 24^ 89^2 ^0226 104^, Pr. 3I9.— 
b. Cp. ^^ 42^. — Hast understanding^ lit. knewedst (or knowest) 
understanding; the idiom as Is. 29^*, Pr. 4^ i Ch. 12^^, 2 Ch. 
2^^' ^2 ; understanding is a synonym for wisdom, and often used 
in parallelism with it ; see, e.g.^ 28^2 ^gi^^ £)t. 46, Is. 29^^. 

5. The scale of this great house and its parts was deter- 
mined beforehand, and marked off on the site which it was to 
occupy. Cp. for the measurements and the use of the measur- 
ing line preparatory to building, Ezk. 40^-43^'^, Zee. i^^, My 
house shall be built in it (Jerusalem), and a line shall be 
stretched forth over Jerusalem, i.e. both temple and city will 
be rebuilt; Jer. 31^^. — Who\ or, iiohat is he who: and so in '' 
the question asks not what being" (for this is already defined in 
^*), but what manner of being planned the world ; the inter- 
rogative is used rather similarly in Am. 7^, As who (RV, 
"how") shall Jacob stand; cp. also Ru. 3^^, — Since'] ironically 
(cp. -^) or z/(cp. Pr. 30*), or that: see phil. n. 


^ Whereupon were the sockets thereof sunk, 

Or who laid the corner-stone thereof, 
"^ When the morning- stars sang- together, 

And all the sons of the gods shouted for joy ? 

6a. On what were the sockets (Ex. 26^^, Ca. 5^^) of the 
pillars that support the earth (9*^ n.) made to rest? On nothing 
(26'^ n.)? Is Job prepared to assert this marvel ? 

7. The ceremony of laying the foundations of the earth was 
an occasion for joyous music, as were the foundation ceremonies 
of earthly buildings (Ezr. 3^^^-). The singers were stars, here 
conceived as existing before the world (ct. Gn. i^^), and the 
sons of the gods (i^ n., cp. Ps. 29^). As the world's first 
morning broke, the stars still shining sang their song of praise ; 
cp. Ps. 19^ 148^ (after the mention of the angels and the host 
of God in v.^). — Safi^] rang out their joy at the mighty work 
of God; so the same vb. (fjl), e.^., in Is. 12^ 24^^, Zee. 2^*, 
Is. 49^^ (subject, the heavens) and in parallelism with the same 
vb. (V"'"in) as here in Is. 44"^, Zeph. 3^^. — T/ie morning- s^ars] to 
be explained as above, not with Hi. Del. on the analogy of the 
''Orions" of Is. 13^*^ of the morning star (Ecclus. 50^ fflr, not 
?!]) and others next to it in brightness. 

8-II. The origin of the sea. — The sea is a being- that was 
born (so ^^ at least ; cp. Ps. 90^ of the earth) — a monster need- 
ing to be held in restraint {^'^^■) lest (such may be the thought) 
it should endanger (•*-^) God's building, the earth. From 
whom or how this monster was born is not said ; the womb 
from which it issued is left undefined ; and thus its origin, unlike 
that of the earth, is not traced directly to God. Nevertheless its 
dependence (^) on God at and from birth, and God's supremacy 
over it (^''^■) from the beginning onwards, illustrate the power 
and wisdom and the uniqueness of God. The original indepen- 
dence of the sea and the stern conflict with it before it was sub- 
dued, which belong- to the mythology lying behind these verses, 
are blurred by the fundamental monotheism of the writer, who 
for purposes of poetry does not, however, refrain from intro- 
ducing traits that only receive their full explanation from 
polytheistic thought : see on 7'^ 9^^ 26^^. 

XXXVIII. 8-12.] YAHWEH 329 

8 [Or where wast thou] ^ when"" the sea '' was born,' 
When it burst out, issuing- from the womb ; 

8 When I made the cloud its garment, 

And the thick cloud its swaddling-bands, 

i" And ■" prescribed its ^ limit for it, 
And set bars and doors, 

11 And said, " Hitherto thou mayest come, and no further, 

And here shall thy proud waves ■" be stayed ^ " ? 

12 Hast thou (ever) since thy days (began) commanded the 

(Or) hast thou caused the dawn to know its place ; 

8a. ?i^ Aftd he hedged about the sea with doors, which is un- 
satisfactory : see phil, n. Gu. {Schopf. u. Chaos, 92), 7vhc 
helped, i.e. rendered the first services (cp. Ezk. 16*), when 
etc.? — The 7vomb] it is questionable whether the writer at all 
clearly defined to himself what or whose was the womb, 
whether chaos (Du. Peake) or the interior of the earth (Di.). 

9. The fig. of the newborn child is continued ; immediately 
after birth, it must be ^ clothed and ^ swaddled (Ezk. 16^), and 
for these offices the newborn giant was dependent on Yahweh. 
Its garments are the clouds that gather over its surface ; its 
swaddling-bands the darkness conceived as surrounding the 

10. 1^, And I brake my limit, or boundary, upon, or against 
it, which is supposed to mean I made the broken, indented coast 
line its boundary: see phil. n. — b. Yahweh prevents the monster 
from escaping from its allotted limit by means of barred doors. 

lib. See phil. n. Cp. Ps. 89I0. 

12-15. The constant return of morning and the effect 
of light. — Every day since the world began morning has 
broken and light has played its marvellous part — ethical {^^- ^^) 
and physical (")— at God's command ; but (^2) has Job, not in- 
deed throughout his brief life, but on any single day of it, issued 
the command and secured its discharge ? On these vv. see 
phil. n. on ^^ (end). 

12. Each day takes its appointed place (cp. 3^-^*^) at God's 


^^ That it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, 

And that (so) the wicked mig-ht be shaken off it? 
^* It changeth Hke clay under a seal, 

And ^ is dyed ^ like a garment ; 
^^ And their light is withholden from the wicked, 

And the raised arm is broken. 
^^ Hast thou come unto the springs of the sea? 

Or hast thou walked in the recesses of the deep? 
^^ Have the gates of Death been revealed to thee ? 

Or have the gate-keepers of Darkness ever '' seen thee ^ ? 

13. "The fact that the light has the effect of detecting and 
dispersing evil-doers is expressed under a beautiful poetical 
figure : the earth is pictured as a vast coverlet ; and the dawn, 
which darts in a moment from east to west (Ps. 139^), seizes 
this by its extremities, brings to light the wicked upon it, and 
shakes them off it like dust" (Dr.) ; cp. for the opposition of 
light to evil-doers, 24^^-^'^. — Skiris of the eart]i\ 37^. 

14. The earth, deprived by night of both form and colour, 
receives both again at dawn, which ^ stamps it afresh, so that 
all objects on it stand out in clear relief, and '^ colours it afresh 
as a garment that is dyed, — Is dyed\ p^ they {i.e. the objects on 
the earth) stand forth. 

15. Overtaken by morning in the pursuit of high-handed 
crime, the wicked are brought tojustice and punishment. — Their 
light] which is night, darkness ; 24^'^. 

16-18. The depths and breadths of the earth. — As 
limited as is Job's range through time, is his range through 
space : he has never fathomed the depth ^^^■, nor traversed the 
breadth ^^, of God's creation. 

16. Sprifigs] if this be the meaning (see phil. n.) the refer- 
ence is to the "hidden channels connecting the sea with the 
great abyss of water (the "great deep"), which the Hebrews 
conceived to extend under the earth (Ps. 24- 136^: cp. 
Gen. 49^'*, Ex. 20^), and from which the waters of the sea were 
supposed to be derived" (Dr.). — Recesses] see phil. n. and 11'^ n. 

17. If the depths of the sea {}^) are unknown to Job, still 
more the greater depths (11^ 7^ 26'', Ps. 86^^, Ezk. 32^^) of 

XXXVin. 17-21.] YAHWEH 331 

^8 Hast thou shown thyself attentive to the breadths of the earth? 

Declare, if thou knowest it all. 
^^ Which way dwelleth light ; 

And darkness — where is its place ; 
2^ That thou shouldest take it to its boundary, 

And '' bring it into ^ the paths to its house ? 
^^ Thou knowest, for then thou wast born. 

And the number of thy days is great. 

Sheol. The dark underworld, the gated realm of death, is 
3pen and wholly known to Yahweh (26^) ; even its outside is 
jnknown to Job ; one day, no doubt. Job will see those gates, 
out he will gain his knowledge, unlike Yahweh, at the expense 
Df freedom and Hfe. Death = Abaddon (28") = Sheol (26«, 
Ps. ff\— Gates of Death] Ps. g^* 107I8 ; cp. "gates of Sheol," 
Is. 38^° in all which passages, differently from here, the 
gates of death are conceived as approached in severe sick- 
ness. — Gate-keepers] so ffi : ilH gates, as in *. — Darkness] cp. 
lO"^'- : for the word (nic^^') see 3^ n. Cp. the use of darkness 
(^E>^ II land of oblivion) of Sheol in Ps. 88^3 (12). 7 iQ),^Have . . . 
ever seen thee ?] f^ carist thou see ? fflr have . . . terrified theCy 
the gate-keepers being conceived as terrifying monsters. 

18. Atte?itive to] see phil. n. ; or, to have understanding 
(4^) of. — b. Cp. *^. — Bi. Du. see in 21 the direct continuation of 
this v., Du. placing i^^- after ^^. 

19 f. The homes of light and darkness. — Light and 
darkness, since they were separated (Gn. i^^) at creation 
(cp. "then," 21), have separate dwellings: light at close of 
day, its daily work abroad being done, returns to its house, 
and so does darkness at the close of night. Does Job know 
which way these houses lie ? Can he take light or darkness 
even to the confines of its home, to the paths that lead up to it? 
Some (Di. Bu.) understand 20a ^o refer to fetching light or 
darkness out of its house into the territory or region in which 
it has to exercise its daily function, 20'' to taking it home. — 
Bring it unto] iK discern or understand. 

21. Ironical: of course Job knows; for he is as old as 
creation: cp. 15'^ (Eliphaz). 


^ Hast thou entered the treasuries of snow, 

Or seest thou the '' store-houses ^ of hail, 
^ Which I have reserved against the time of distress, 

Ag-ainst the day of war and of battle ? 
2* Which is the way to where the ^ wind ^ is distributed, 

(And) the sirocco scattered over the earth ? 
2^ Who hath channelled a conduit for the rain-flood, 

And a way for the lightning- of the thunder; 

22 f. Snow and hail. — Treasuries] cp. 37^ n., Dt. 28^2 (<< his 
goodly treasury the heavens "), Jer. 10^^ ("He bringeth forth 
wind from His treasuries "), En. 41'* 60^^-^^ (chambers of 
winds, snow, mist, rain, treasury of peals of thunder). — Store- 
houses] ]lj treasuries, as ^. 

23. Snow and hail are kept by God in His store-houses till 
He requires them for purposes of judgement, e.g. for ruining 
the crops of evil-doers, or ^ confounding them in battle. Cp. 
Ex. 922-26, is_ 2817^ Ezk. 1313, Hag. 2^\ Sir. 3929^- (fire and hail 
. . . these also are formed for judgement ... all these are 
created for their uses, and they are in His treasury, against 
the time when they are required) ; for hail in battle, Jos. 10^^, 
Is. 3o30f- ; for snow, i Mac. 1322 (not cited as a divine judge- 
ment), Ps. 68^'^(?). — Reserved against] see phil. n. and 21^''. 

24. W^inds have their chambers, too ; but where ? Cp. 
En. 41* 60^2^ "and the angel . . . showed me . . . the 
chamber of the winds, and how the winds are divided." — 
Wi?id] ^ light \ see phil. n. 

25-27. Two marvels connected with the descent of rain, 
one common also to lightning". The rain (i) descends by a 
way determined (cp. 282^) for it, as also does the lightning, 
however much it may appear to flash at hazard : (2) the rain 
falls (not only for the service of man, but), fulfilling purposes 
of God which have wider objects than men, on uninhabited 
country ; for this wider range of God's providence left uncon- 
sidered by Job in his anthropocentric discussion of God's ways, 
cp. 39^«- and Ps. io4i«-i«- 20-22. 25, 

25. Chatmelhd] pillag, cp. peleg, channel (29*^). — A conduit] 
the same word is used of channels for irrigation (Ezk. 

XXXVIII. 25-31.] YAHWEH 333 

2^ Causinjj it to rain on a land (which) none (inhabiteth), 

On the wilderness wdierein is no man ; 
2^ To satisfy (the land of) devastation and desolation, 

And to make ^the thirsty (land)^ sprout with young 

grass ? 
28 Hath the rain a father? 

Or who hath begotten the drops of night-mist? 
2^ Out of whose womb came the ice? 

And who gave birth to the hoar frost of heaven ? 
^^ Like a stone waters ^ cohere together "•, 

And the face of the deep ^ is hidden"^. 
^^ Dost thou fasten the bands of the Pleiades (?), 

Or untie the cords of Orion (?) ? 

31*), pipes feeding a reservoir (Is. 7^), a trench to contain 
water (i K. 18^'-): here of pipes conceived as existing to con- 
duct the rain down from heaven to earth. — Rain-flood\ here (ct. 
Ps. 32*^ and the vb. in Is. 8^) of a heavy rain descending. 

25b. = 2826^ 

27' Thirsty land] "^ place of comi?ig forth : see phil. n. 

28. Rain and night-mist. — These things have no human 
source ; with the figures of begetting and birth, cp. 8^'-*. — 
Night-mist] 29^^ n. 

29-30. Frost and ice. — Frozen water is solid as stone 
^°*, and ^ hides the still unfrozen water beneath ; see phil. n. 

31 f. The stars and constellations — can or does Job, like 
God, regulate the movement of these, causing them to rise 
and set, and at different times of year to take different posi- 
tions in the heavens ? This in general seems to be the sense 
of the vv., though in details these are full of uncertainties. The 
constellations appear to be mentioned here, after the meteoro- 
logical questions of -^"^^, on account of the ancient association 
of their movements with changes in the seasons and weather 
(see on 9'^). 

31. The vbs. are certainly antithetical, the nouns (though 
their meaning is uncertain) are probably synonymous ; the 
identification of the constellations, particularly the Pleiades is 
disputed (see on 9^). The meaning in general appears to be : 

334 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVIH. 31-32. 

can you, like God, fasten tog^ether (something^ belonging to or 
something constituting) one constellation or unfasten another? 
In view of the consistent tone of the questions throughout the 
speech — can or does Job do what God does ? — we must rule 
out what in itself would be a perfectly possible alternative : can 
Job fasten what God looses, or loose what God fastens ? Con- 
sequently the constellation named in * was actually conceived 
as being, at least at times, bound, that in ^ as unbound. But 
with the ambiguity of the nouns, the uncertain identification of 
the constellations, and our imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew 
mythology or stories of the constellations, it is impossible to 
get beyond very uncertain conjectures as to the exact meaning 
or the exact nature of any of the myths which may be alluded 
to. — Fasten the bands of] ox, fasten into a cluster', this has been 
explained of the closeness of the stars to one another in the 
Pleiades (Ew. Di. : do you perpetually keep the stars of the 
Pleiades clustered close together?), or, in various ways, of 
restraining the constellation in question ; e.g. those who 
identify the constellation not with the Pleiades, but with Canis 
major think of the chains with which Orion restrains his hound 
(so Burney, EBi. 4782) ; but this makes the activity of God 
secondary, and the question equivalent to, Can you, like Orion, 
hold the Dog in check ? On AV. RVm. (meaning. Canst 
thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, so as to restrain 
the gracious season of spring, or ^ dismiss winter before its 
time ?) see phil. n. — The Pleiades] other identifications are Canis 
major (see last n.) which contains Sirius, or the Scorpion 
(Jensen in ZA \. 264). — Uritie the cords 0/ Orion] if ^ refers to 
the closeness of the stars to one another in the constellation, 
this should refer to the greater distance between the stars of 
another : so, e.g., Bu., who sees a reference to the conspicuous 
change in apparent distance between the stars of Orion 
according to its height in the sky. But in the cords it 
is now more usual to see a reference to the bonds which kept 
Orion for ever fixed in the sky (see on 9^) ; the untying or 
loosening of these may refer to Orion's being dragged higher 
up or lower down the sky (Di.). 

32. Bring forth] Is. 40^^. — Maszaroth] doubtless the name of 

XXXVIII. 32-34. J YAHWEH 335 

^^ Dost thou bring- forth Mazzaroth in its season, 
Or lead the Bear with her children? 

^ Knowest thou the laws of the heavens ? 

Dost thou establish their rule in the earth ? 

^* Dost thou lift up thy voice to the cloud, 

That abundance of waters may cover thee ? 

a star or constellation, but what is altogether uncertain : see 
phil. n. — Or lead, etc.] ^ij may also be translated (pointing- Dn:ri), 
or comfort the Bear for (the loss of her) sons ; this would pre- 
sumably refer to some unknown mythological trait ; but the 
translation, as giving a bad parallel to % is improbable. — The 
Bear] Hebr. 'Ayish (or ' lyyush) : the meaning of 'Ayish is quite 
unknown and cannot be invoked to assist in identifying the star(s) 
intended. If the constellation referred to be the Bear, ' Ayish 
is, strictly, the name of the four stars composing the square, 
her children (or sons) the three stars of the tail : cp. the Arabic 
name for the constellation nds (in no way connected with the 
Hebr. 'Ayish), the bier, for the four stars, which resemble the 
bearers of a bier, and hanat na^, the daughters of the bier, 
for the three stars, which resemble the followers (Lane, Arabic 
Lex. 2816c). If the constellation intended is the Pleiades {(f n.), 
'Ayish is probably the name of its brightest star, her children 
the remaining stars : C renders the Hen with her children — a 
description actually applied to the Pleiades by some peoples. 

33. The laws of the heave?is] the laws (nipn) enjoined by God 
on the heavens in respect to the appearance or disappearance of 
constellations, the change of night and day, etc. Cp. Jer. 3i35f. 
3325 : and (pn) 282*^ and ? Ps. 148^. EBi. 2989, giving to npn a 
sense not elsewhere found, though not difficult to derive from 
the root meaning to inscribe, renders the pictures of the heavens, 
understanding these to be the signs of the Zodiac. — b. Under 
God (Gn. 1^^), the heavens rule the earth. 

34. The clouds — does Job make them give rain? The 
same subject is continued in ^^f- ; cp. also ^^-^s. Whether both 
3* (which Bi. omits : ^^'° = 22II) and 37f. were original, and, if so, 
whether they were originally separated by ^sf- may be questioned. 
■ — Cover\ © answer: but see phil. n. 

336 THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXVin. 35-38. 

^ Dost thou send forth lightnings that they may go, 

And say unto thee, " Here we are"? 
^ Who hath put wisdom in the . . . ? 

Or who hath given understanding to the . . . ? 
^"^ Who counteth the clouds by wisdom, 

Or who tilteth the water-skins of the heavens, 
^ When the soil becometh hard as metal. 

And the clods cleave fast together ? 

35. Lightning: cp. ^sb with the phrasing of * cp. 
Bar. 333 (of light), of ^ Bar. 3^5 (of stars). 

36. The terms left untranslated have been the subject of 
many guesses (see phil. n.). (i) If the v. is in its original 
context, it should refer to celestial phenomena: so, e.^., RVm. 
dark clouds in ^, tneteorm ^, the thought then being that such 
phenomena "from their movements and the figures they 
assume . . . are apparently endowed with intelligence" (Dr.). 
(2) In another context the questions might refer to the origin 
of man's wisdom ; but if the terms really mean hiward parts 
(cp. Ps. 51^) in * and mind (of man) in ^ (RV.), the v. is probably 
misplaced. (3) A third theory is that anhnals are referred to : 
the cock, according to an ancient theory, in ^, spinning (spiders), 
perhaps, in *. If these animals were referred to as prognosti- 
cators of the weather, the reference would not be out of place in 
the context ; but if as possessing some other form of wisdom, 
the V. would fall rather somewhere between 38^^ and 39^". 
That * refers to man, ^ to the cock (U al.), is quite improbable. 

37. Rain (cp. ^*) for ^^ the thirsty earth. — Countet)i\ or, 
emending, spreadeth out: but see phil. n. — Tilteth the water- 
skins^ the clouds (*) are in ^ pictured (cp. 26^ n.) as vast 
water-skins from which, when laid down or tilted, the water 
pours forth as rain. 

38. Soii\ "IDJ?, 5^ n. 8^^ n. — Becometh hard as metal] lit. is 
cast, or poured into a casting (as of metal); cp. "the earth 
(shall be as) iron," Dt. 28-^; "your earth as copper," Lv. 26^^. 
Du. Peake interpret the phrase of the powdery dusty earth 
turning, as the rain falls on it, into mud (Du. : clods, Peake) ; 
but see phil. n. 

XXXVIII. 39-41.] YAIIWEH 337 

^' Dost Lhou hunt prey for the lioness, 

Or satisfy the appetite of the young' lions, 
**' When they crouch in dens, 

(And) sit in the thicket to lie in wait ? 
*i Who appointeth for the raven what he hunteth down, 

When his young ones cry unto God, 

(And) Tpipe^ for lack of food. 

39-XXXIX. 30. Marvels of the animal world. 

39-41. Lions, ^^^-y and ravens, **^: who secures that the 
young of these are fed ? Job, as a man, would rather starve 
and destroy than sustain beasts of prey; but God in His wis- 
dom so orders His world that all His creatures are sustained ; 
cp. especially Ps. 10^^'^-'^'^. — Lioness] /\}^^. — Vounn- lions] 4^°^. 

40. Cp. 37^. — Crouch] lie low: cp. 9^^, Ps. lo^*'. 

41. For the raveti] cp. Ps. 147''. f^, differently pointed, 
may be rendered in the evening; in this case, ^^ continues the 
subject of the lions, and the raven disappears. The compara- 
tive brevity of the treatment of lions and ravens, if both are 
dismissed in 39-^1, is suspicious : so also is the tristich in ^^ ; 
but there are difficulties in the way of adopting the rendering 
in the evening '. see phil. n. — Pipe]2i term parallel to c;^' in '^, 
and suitable to ravens, if ravens are the subject of the v., is 
more probable than they wander (|i|), or it — the parent bird — 
wanders^ as others conjecturally emend; see phil. n. 

XXXIX. 1-4. The rock- or wild-goat. — The animal 
intended is generally understood to be Capra bede?i, Wagn. 
[DB ii. 195). " It is a shy animal, with a keen scent, and its 
coloration is so like that of the surrounding rocks, etc., that it 
is very difficult to see. It usually goes in small herds of eight 
or ten, and, when feeding, has a sentry on the look out for 
enemies " [EBi. 1743) : see, further, Tristram, Fauna and 
Flora of Palestine, p. 6 (with coloured plate). The rocky (i S. 
24S) mountain haunts of this animal, inaccessible to or at 
least unfrequented by man (Ps. 104^^^), impressed alike the 
author of Ps. 104 and of this passage. When they give birth, 
these creatures in their mountain retreats are beyond man's 
observation and care, but not God's : He has given to them 


XXXIX. ^ Knowest thou ^ the rock goats ? 

Or dost thou observe the calving- of the hinds? 

* Dost thou count the months that they fulfil ? 

Or dost thou 1^ appoint ^ the time when they 

bring forth ? 
^ They bow down, they give birth to their young, 
They let go that wherewith they were pregnant. 

* Their young ones are healthy, they grow up in 

the open ; 
They go forth, and return not again. 

to bring forth with ease (^), and to their young to grow up 
healthily, and quickly to become independent (^). 

1. Kno7vest thou\ do you take thought and care about : for 
the force of know, cp. 9^1 n. ?^ + the titne of bringmg forth of. 
Some prefer to read, Knowest thou the thne of the wild goats, 
i.e. the time or season of heat in the males', see phil. n. — The 
hinds\ here the females of the wild goats (cp. Ps. 29^). 

2. The mo7iths that they fiilfil\ the period of their pregnancy. 
— Appoini\ f^ know. 

3. They bow doimi\ i S. 4^^. The v. describes the rapidity 
and ease of the parturition. Rabbinic interpreters understood 
it of difficult parturition ; on both Rabbinic and classical stories 
about the parturition of the wild goats, see Bochart, Hieroz., 
lib. iii. c. 17. — That wherewith they were pregnani\ EV. al. 
their sorrows, (lit. "birth-pangs"), i.e. the young as the cause 
of their pains ; with which it has become customary to com- 
pare Ovid, Her. 11. iii, "Nate, dolor matris." Cp. also the 
addition in © in 2^ " sons and daughters the pains and sorrows 
of my womb." But see phil. n. 

4. Agairi\ X\t. for themselves', or unto them, i.e. the herd. 
5-8. The wild ass. — God i^), not man, who would rather 

have kept it in bondage, has given to the wild ass, now the 
most elusive and least tameable (ii^^ n.) of creatures, its 
freedom (^) ; and made the open country far from human 
dwellings, not some human master's stable sucti as housed its 
domesticated bi'other (Is. i^), its home (^) ; and given it a con- 
tempt for man's angry shoutings such as compelled the domestic 

XXXIX. 5-8.] YAHWEII 339 

^ Who hath let the wild ass go free? 

And who hath loosed the bands of the brayer? 
^ Whose home I have made the steppe, 

And whose dwelling--places the salt land. 
' He laug-heth at the tumult of the city, 

He heareth not the shoutings of the taskmaster ; 

ass, most widely used of all beasts of burden, to work in 
servitude to man C^), and fleetness of foot to find its food over 
wide stretches of country (^). References to the wild ass, 
especially to its fleetness, intractability, shyness and avoidance 
of the haunts of men are frequent in the OT. (see 11^^, Gn. 16^^, 
Hos. 8*^, Is. Tf^^'^f ^"d references in the following nn.), and even 
more so in the Arabic poets (see Ahlwardt, Chalif Al-Ahmar, 
341-360; "^oldekG, Beiirdge 3ur arabischen Poesie, 143, n. i,and 
Fiinf Mo allaqdt, ii. 72 ff.); for various ancient references see 
Bochart, Hieroz., lib. iii. c. 16 ; and for a modern account of the 
wild ass of the Hauran, Wetzstein in Del. 

5. Wild ass . . . braver^ the two terms are used for the 
sake of parallelism, and do not refer to different species. 
Neither, like the English translation in * and the Arabic 
himdr alwahs, defines the animal by its similarity to the 
domestic ass (/A«or) ; but the ?irst {pere' : cp. At. /am), which 
has already occurred in 6^ ii^^ 24^, probably means etymologi- 
cally the fleet(-footed), the second the brayer, or less probably 
the fleer away (viz. from man: see phiL n.). — Let go free\ 
released from captivity; cp. Dt. 15^2^ js_ ^go^ — The bands\?,w(^ 
as kept the domestic ass in servitude to man. 

6. The home of the wild ass is in uncultivated country far 
from the dwellings of men (Dn. 5'^^) — in the wilderness (24-'', 
Jer. 2^^, Sir. 13^^: cp. ovw ipe^iirrj, c. 11^- (S, Jer. 31^ G), the 
steppe (24^), the salt-land. — The salt la?id] uninhabited country 
(Jer. 17^), unfit for cultivation (Ps. 107^^; cp. Jg. 9*^); a 
secondary reason for the use of the term here maj' be that as 
a graminivorous animal (^), the wild ass is fond of salt. 

7- -ILe laugheth at] has no fear of; cp. ^^- 22 4121 ^22^ — ^i 
Cp. 3I8 n. 

8. The wild ass must search far and wide for the green 


^ He spieth out the mountains as his pasture ground, 
And he searcheth after every green thing. 

^ Is the wild ox wiUing to serve thee? 

Or doth he spend the night over thy manger? 

stuff on which it Hves, but being fleet of foot finds it with an 
ease denied to the unfortunate human outcasts mentioned in 
24^. — The ?nountains\ cp. Ps. 104^^'-. — Every green thing\ the 
food of the wild ass : cp. 6^, Jer. 14^. 

9-12. The wild ox. — Ass and ox are constantly associated 
as domesticated animals and beasts of burden (Ex. 21^^ 23*- ^^^ 
Dt. 22!'', Is. i^ 32-*^, Lk. 13^^); and so from his contrast of the 
wild {pere) to the domestic ass {]fmdr\ the poet now passes to 
contrast the wild ox [r^^em) with the domestic ox [sor). The great 
strength of the wild ox (^^) might make him a suitable servant 
of man, if he would serve ; but he will not (^*) : no manger 
P*^) will entice him to tolerate servitude and to endure, like the 
domestic ox, being harnessed i^^^) to the plough or the harrow 
^lOb^ ; but even if he would so submit, man would never have 
any confidence that his innate love of freedom and his strength 
would not make him break loose and cause loss [^^^■) to his 

9. The imld ox\ that what was regarded, whether with zoo- 
logical exactitude or not, as a wild ox of some kind is intended, 
is sufficiently clear from this passage alone : cp. the parallel- 
ism of the same Hebrew term (dki) with ox (Dt. 33^'^), cows 
(Is. 34'^ D'""lQ, unless we should there read D\X"13), calf (Ps. 29''). 
Its dangerous (Dt. 33^^, Ps. 22- ^-i^), lofty (Ps. 92^^) horns accord 
with this. The Hebrew r'^^em is now commonly identified with 
the Assyrian rimu, a wild bull hunted among- other large game 
by the Assyrian kings (Tiglath-Pileser i. in KB i. 39), and 
depicted in enamel, alternately with dragons, on the great 
Ishtar Gateway of Babylon (cp. KB iv. 21). Reproductions of 
this representation are given in R. Koldewey, Excavations in 
Babylon^ plates 26 (in colour), 27 and 30 (in colour), and R. W. 
Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assyria, i. 3 18. " Among the 
Assyrians it was often employed in metaphors of strength, 
and at times occurs in parallelism with pirUy elephant. Hence 

XXXIX. 9-11.] YAHWEH 341 

^° Dost thou bind "^him^ to the furrow I" with! cords? 

Or doth he harrow the valleys after thee? 
^1 Would'st thou trust him, because his strength is great? 

Or would'st thou leave to him what thou hast toiled for? 

it is not improbable that the animal referred to is the Aurochs, 
the f/rz/^y of Julius Caesar {BG 6. 28) . . . and the Bus prhni- 
genhis of naturalists. Its teeth were found by Tristram in 
Lebanon, in the valley of the Nahr el-Kalb, which is just 
in the neighbourhood where Tiglah-Pileser i. {c. iioo B.C.) 
claimed to have killed the rimzi. ... A similar animal is the 
wild cow or wadiha which, according to Doughty [Ai-. Des. 
i. 328), may probably be the DXn. Though of no great size it has 
dangerous horns, measuring sometimes 23 inches . . . with 
which, when maddened with wounds, it will inflict fatal injuries " 
[EBi. 5229). An alternative name for the last-mentioned 
animal in the northern Bedawin dialects is bakar al-wahs, i.e. 
the wild cow, wadiha, denoting it as white. Doughty {ib. 327) 
gives an illustration of the horn. This animal is strictly an 
antelope {ib. 32S), and, in particular, the Oryx Beatrix, Gray, 
an animal about 35 inches high at the withers, and of a pre- 
vailing dirty white colour with the long conspicuous horns 
already referred to. A coloured illustration of it is given in 
Sclater and Thomas, The Book of the Antelopes, iv. plate Ixxxi. 
In Arabic the term rifn, on the other hand, is given to quite 
another species of antelope, a graceful little gazelle, that does 
not correspond to the animal called r''cm in Hebrew, viz, 
Gazella Marica, Thos., depicted in Sclater and Thomas, op. cit. 
iii. Ivi. ; cp. Hess, in ZATW, 1915, 121-123. — Manger^ Is. i^: 
cp. DUX lit:', Pr. 15I''. 

10. Him to the furrow with cords] |L] the wild ox in the furrow 
of his cord. — After thee] in harrowing (unlike ploughing) the 
animal must have been led. 

11. No doubt the strength of the wild ox would be most 
useful to you ; but suppose you could catch him and put 
him to work, would you trust him? See on '■^^'^'^. — What 
thou hast toiled for] the fruit of thy labour in the field (cp. 10^ 
phil. n.). 


^2 Would'st thou confide in him, that he would return, 
^ And 1 gather ^ thy seed '' to the ^ threshing floor ? 

12. If you were to send the wild ox out to bring home your 
harvest, you would never expect him to come back. — Seed] in 
the sense of the matured product of the seed sown, corn-crop, 
as Lv. 27^^ Is. 23^, Hag. 2^^. — Return] or (Qre) bring back; on 
this and the emendation adopted above, see phil. n. 

13-18. The ostrich. — There need be no doubt that the 
ostrich (U) is the subject of these verses, though the earlier VV. 
did not recognize it, and the term used for the bird in * is 
strange (see phil. n.), nor that the cruelty (^*~^^), and, if ^"^ be 
original, the stupidity also, commonly attributed to the bird 
(cp. Bochart, Hteroz., lib. ii. cc. 14-17, and Schultens on this 
passage) are here referred to. But the first and last vv. of 
the passage {}^- ^^) are obscure, and in consequence the exact 
point and reference of the entire description uncertain. Accord- 
ing to one view of ^^ there is an implicit contrast between 
the cruelty of the ostrich and the kindness of the stork : 
then the marvel, as in ^~^ and ^"^^^ consists in the striking 
differences between animals that in other respects closely 
resemble one another. Failing this, we must fall back for an 
explanation of the ostrich, though a bird, appearing in the 
midst of the quadrupeds, on the fact that it, like wild asses 
and wild oxen, is a notable inhabitant of the desert (see, e.g., 
La. 4^, Is. 13^^ 34^^ I Schult. 11 18 top); or we may suppose 
that the section has been misplaced — Wr. places it after ^*^ — 
or, though this is much less probable than the preceding or 
following suggestion, that it has been separated from ^cf. 
through the interpolation of ^^"^^ (Ehrlich), or that it has itself 
been interpolated (Bi. Hatch, Du. Che. in EBi. 2481 ; cp. Di. 
Peake). Those who adopt the last view appeal in proof to ffir, 
from which ^^"^^ were absent, to the length of the section (six 
distichs as against four in the three preceding sections ; yet 
19-25 js gj-jji longer), the mention of God in ^'^, and the pre- 
dominance of the directly descriptive over the interrogative 
mode of expression. If the section is original, ^^* as well as 
^^^ was probably interrogative ; and the remainder of the 

XXXIX. 15.] YAHWEH 343 

^2 Is the wing of the ostrich . . ., 
\-}V • • • • • » 

^* That she leaveth her egg-s on the earth, 
And warmeth (them) in the dust ; 

^ And forgetteth that a foot may crush them, 
And the wild beasts trample upon them ? 

section for the most part dependent on the question (cp. ^) : 
but, even if it were independent of the opening question, cp. 

7f. 21-25. 23-30^ 

13. Schultens (cp. Bochart, op. cit. c. 16) was already able 
to collect twenty different translations or interpretations of this 
v., and this number could now be considerably increased. 
Many of these, including AV., can be ruled out as impossible ; 
several remain from which an uncertain choice may be made. 
Probably ^ contained one, if not two terms, parallel to " wing" 
in *; whether it contained even (cp. ^) one (AV.), not to say 
two ((EF Rashi), terms parallel, synonymously or antithetically, 
to "ostrich" is uncertain. In RV., "The wing of the ostrich 
rejoiceth ; (But) are her pinions and feathers kindly (mrg. (like) 
the stork's)?," the renderings "rejoiceth," "but "and "her" 
are all questionable ; as is also (see above) the absence of in- 
terrogation in *. Less improbably, with two slight emendations, 
we may translate. Is the wing of the ostrich sluggish. Or is 
pinion and feather lacking (to her), That she leaves, etc. Wr. 
rendered. Does the wing of the ostrich soar aloft. Or is it strong 
on the wing like the hawk and the falcon ? Nay, it leaves, etc. ; 
if such a contrast between the ostrich's eggs laid on the ground, 
and the hawk's ^'^) or the stork's (Ps. 104^'^) in lofty trees was 
the point expressed in the original text, ^ requires more change 
than Wr, allowed himself to make in it (see phil. n.). 

14-16. The cruelty of the ostrich : cp. " cruel as ostriches," 
La. 4^. — If 1i^ in ^ is correct, the v. refers to two actual habits 
of the ostrich, viz. that having laid its eggs in holes scooped in 
the sand, it * then leaves them (frequently during the early 
period of incubation and in the daytime to go in search of 
food), but "^ at other times (and continuously during the final 
periods of incubation) sits upon them to hatch them : but ^ in 

344 THE BOOK OF JOB [xxxix. 16-ia 

^^ She useth her young ones hardly, (maknig- them) into none 

of hers ; 

Her toil is in vain : (there is) no fear. 
" For God hath made her to forget wisdom, 

And hath given her no share in understanding. 

^^ What time she spurreth herself (?) on high, 

She laugheth at the horse and his rider. 

this case forms a bad introduction to ^^, and we should prob- 
ably read in '^ depositeth them (see phil. n.) for iioamieth\ then 
in * we may render by the stronger word abandojieth (cp. Jer. 
14^); and the whole v. refers to a single striking habit of the 
bird, viz. that it lays its eggs not high up out of danger, but 
on the ground, and leaves them there (^^), exposed to the risk 
of any man or beast that may pass by. 

16. The V. is a reflection on such habits of the ostrich as 
that in addition to the eggs laid and concealed in the sand for 
hatching, it lays others which it leaves exposed in the sand 
and uses for the nourishment of the chicks; and that "when 
the ostrich is surprised with her brood she runs away from her 
chicks" (Post in Hastings' DB iii. 635). — Her young ones] the 
unhatched birds. — b." cp. Is. 65^^. — Her toil] in laying and in 
sitting on her eggs. — There is no fear] "she is unconcerned 
about it" (Dr.). 

17. The stupidity of the ostrich : cp. the Arabic proverb, 
"stupider than an ostrich" (see Bochart, 0^. «/., who cites 
many ancient testimonies to its stupidity). The v. in giving 
the reason for the cruelty described in i*-i6^ gQ fg^j- blunts that 
charge; and it stands awkwardly before ^^, which suggests wis- 
dom rather than stupidity. Since also the v. mentions God (cp. 
40^- 1^), it is perhaps an addition (cp. Peake). In lacking wisdom, 
the ostrich lacks what was not confined to man, but found also 
in animals (12'^*-, Is. i^, Jer. 8'^, Pr. 6^), and in some pre-eminently 
(Pr. 302^). 

18. The speed of the ostrich : " If helped by the wind, the 
fleeing ostrich spreads its tail-feathers like a sail and with 
constant flapping of its outspread wings easily escapes its 
pursuers" (Wetzstein in Del.). To this habit the unknown 

XXXIX. 18-24.] YAHWEII 345 

^® Dost thou give strength to the horse? 

Dost thou clothe his neck with ^ might ^? 
2° Dost thou cause him to quiver Hke a locust, 

In the majesty of his terrible snorting? 

21 r He 1 paw'^ eth ^ in the valley, and rejoiceth ; 

In strength he goeth out to meet the weapons. 

22 He laugheth at fear, and is not dismayed ; 

And he turneth not back away from the sword. 

23 The quiver twangeth upon him, 

The flashing point of the spear and the javelin. 
2'* Quivering and excited he swalloweth the ground, 

And he standeth not still (?) at the sound of (?) the 


word rendered above spurreth herself \s supposed to allude (see 
phil. n.). — Lavglicth at\ the slow and ineffective pace of her 
pursuers: cp. '^ n. 

19-25. The horse, and in particular the war-horse ; its 
excitement, eagerness and absence of fear as it carries its armed 
rider (2^) into battle. 

19. Might\ a. conjecture based on the parallel term. Guesses 
at the meaning of ^f include /^ar (ffir), ^/itaider [AV.), neighing 
(U), quivering mane (RV.) ; see phil. n. 

20. Much in this v. is uncertain: see phil. n. — Quiver\ cp. 
2*. — Like a locust] the comparison of the war-horse with a locust 
seems less natural than the reverse (Jl. 2*, Rev. g'^). 

21. The valley] cp. "thy choicest valleys were full of 
chariots: and the horsemen," etc., Is. 22'^: also, for valleys as 
battlefields or the sites of encampments, Gn. 14^, Jg. 7^ Is. 2821. 
— Rejoiceth ; In strength] fH rejoiceth in strength, which unduly 
limits the ground of the horse's joy : both sense and rhythm 
could well spare in strength altogether. 

22. He laugheth] v." n. — The s^vord] of the enemy: this 
would form an excellent parallel term to "weapons" in 21^: 
the order of the lines may have been ^la. 22a. 21b. 22b_ 

24b. The translation is very uncertain, but on the whole 
preferable to the alternative : he helicveth not that, or when, or 
z/ (there is) the sound of the horn. Possibly the line is merely 

34^ THE BOOK OF JOB [XXXIX. 24 26. 

^^ As often as the horn (soundeth), he saith, "Aha! " 
And from afar he scenteth the battle, 
The thunder of the captains, and the shouting. ■ 

2^ Is it throug-h thy understanding- that the hawk taketh flight. 
That he spreadeth his wings towards the south ? 

intrusive, and 24. 25 originally consisted not of a distich and a 
tristich, but of two distichs : see phil. n. 

25. He neighs out his delight when the horn, the military 
(Am. 3", Jer, 4^^) musical instrument, sounds an advance. — The 
thxmder of the captains\ if the phrase is correct, this must mean 
the orders of the military captains (Nu. 31^^, Is. 3^) given in tones 
of thunder. — Shouting\ or war-cry: cp. Am. i^^, Jer. 4^^, Zeph. 
1I6 (" the day of the horn and the battle-shout "). 

26-30. The hawk and, at least in ^^, the vulture. — Birds 
have been previously mentioned — the raven (38*'^ fH) and the 
ostrich (13-18^ . here two further birds conclude this survey of 
the animal world. Is it through wisdom given to it by Job 
that a sure instinct leads the hawk southwards at the approach 
of winter, or, at his command, that the vulture (unlike the 
ostrich, 1^) places its nest high up out of reach, on those rocky 
fastnesses where it makes its home and from whence its keen 
and far-seeing eye detects its carrion (^^) food ? 

26. The hawk\ p; in Lv. ii^^ Dt. 14^^! the term is 
generic for a class of birds including (in3"'D^) several species ; 
birds of the Falconidae class appear to be intended (Bochart, 
Hiero2., lib. ii. c. 19; Tristram, NHB, p. 189 f. ; Thomson, Land 
and Book ^ 326; EBi. and DB, s.v. hawk) ; some of these, as, 
e.g., the lesser kestrel, migrate south in winter. — The allusion to 
migration (cp. Jer. 8") in "^j is not to be eliminated by rendering 
to the soiith-imnd, " in which case the reference would be to the 
strength of wing that enabled it to fly in the teeth of the south 
wind " (Peake after Du.), for this would surely require a stronger 
prep, than 7. 

27 f. Du. (see phil. n.), Or is it at thy command that it 
maketh its nest on high, And hath lodging upon the crag of 
the rock? This removes the vulture, and makes the whole 
strophe describe the hawk. Du.'s emendations greatly improve 

XXXIX. 27 -XL. 3.] JOB 347 

2'^ Or is it at thy command that the vulture mounteth up, 

And maketh his nest on high ? 
*^ Upon the rock he dwelleth and hath lodging-, 

Upon the crag of the rock and the fastness. 
2^ From thence he spieth out food ; 

Afar off his eyes behold it. 
^^ His nestlings also gulp down blood : 

And where the slain are, there is he. 
XL. ^ Will the reprover contend with the Almighty? 

He that argueth with God, let him answer it. 

^ And Job answered Yahweh, and said, 

the parallelism, and one bird rather than two would be more 
according to the analogy of the other sections ; on the other 
hand the habits described in -'^"^'^ agree with those elsewhere 
associated with the vulture. 

27. T/ie vulhire\ g-*" n. — b. (with -'*), cp. Jer. 49^*''. 

28. Crag\ Heb. tooth ; cp. Dent Blanche, Dent du Midi. 

29. The vulture and its prey; cp. 9^^, Hab. i^, Dt. 28^^ (note 
"from afar"), Jer. 48^0 4922 : cp. Ezk. \f^-. 

30a. Did Job endow the bird "with her terrible instincts, 
that show themselves at once in her young, which suck up 
blood"? Cp. also Pr. 30^'^. Hrz. compares Aelian, H.A. 
10. 14, aapKOiv 7]8eTaL ^opa koI irivei, a'lfxa kol ra veoma 
i/CTpecfiet rot? avTol<;. — b. cp. Mt. 242^. 

XL. I. Between 39^*^ and 40^ ^|, not fflr, inserts, And 
Yahweh answered Job and said, thus cutting off the conclu- 
sion (40^) of Yahweh's speech in 38^-392*^ 40^. 

2. Very effectively the speech closes as it opened (382^-) 
vi^ith a challenge : — Will Job, who has taken upon him the part 
of reprover and admonisher of God (cp. 382), still carry on the 
dispute ? if so, he must answer (cp. 38-'') the questions Yahweh 
has put to him, and explain the marvels of creation which have 
just been brought before him in 38*-39-^'^ ; if he cannot do so, 
he has no right to criticize and reprove. 

4f. ( + , probably, 422-6). Job's reply to Yahweh: he 
admits without reservation that he cannot answer God's 
questions (**): he will therefore give up the role of critic (^^), 

348 THE BOOK OF JOB [XL. 4-6 

* Behold, I am too mean : what can I answer thee? 

I lay mine hand upon my mouth. 

^ Once have I spoken ; but I will not ^ do so again ^ ; 

Yea twice, but I will no further. 
' Then Yahweh answered Job out of the storm, and said : — 

which he confesses he had several times assumed (^). In con- 
trast to his own weakness (40*), he acknowledges the omni- 
potence of God (42-) ; and, now that he has been challenged 
(38*), he sees that he had spoken confidently of what really was 
beyond his comprehension (42^) ; and this had been because his 
previous knowledge of God had been by hearsay ; whereas his 
present knowledge is the outcome of direct vision ; this vision, 
and new kind of knowledge, have led him to humility and 
repentance (^) for what he had said in criticism of God, though 
the text and meaning of 42^ are by no means certain. 

4. Too jneafi] unequal to the task. — b. Cp. 21^ 29*^. 

5. Once . . . ^wi'ce] i.e. more than once, several times : 
cp. 33^*. — Do so agaiti\ ^ answer. 

6-XLI. 26 (34). According to the present text {^ = 38^) a 
second speech of Yahweh clearly begins with '' ; to this second 
speech Job then makes a second reply in 42^-^- But it is 
probable that in the original form of the poem Yahweh made 
only one speech (38^-39^'^ 40^)> and Job only one reply and con- 
fession (40^^- 422-6). 

In favour of this conclusion there are weighty considerations : (i) Even 
as they now stand, unassociated with 42^"^, 40""- contain a confession, 
without any reservation, that Job has tlirown up his case, and that he has 
nothing further to say ; in other words, so far as Job is concerned, Yahweh's 
object in speaking is already achieved, and there is no need for him to 
dehver another speech ; (2) after such a confession Yahweh's rebuke in 
■'■1'' "comes perilously near nagging" (Peake) : this objection could be 
slightly mitigated, but not removed, by merely omitting ^ and retaining ^'^* 
as a second speech ; (3) the speech, if the descriptions of leviathan and 
behemoth be omitted (see below), is suspiciously short ; and (4) though it 
treats of a new subject, it has no sufficient distinctness o{ ptirpose from the 
first speech ; nor does it draw from Job a really distinct or different con- 
fession ; Yahweh here refers (40*) to Job's impugnment of His righteous- 
ness, and to His government oftnen {^''^^), whereas in 38. 39 He had spoken of 
His work in Nature ; but this still leads up, as do 38. 39, to the powerlessness 
and ignorance of Job in contrast to the might and wisdom of God (^*) ; and 

XI.. 6-9.] (yahweh) 349 

' Gird up tliy loins like a migfhty man : 

I will ask thee, and declare thou unto inc. 
* Wilt thou even disallow my riiifht ? 

Wilt thou condemn me, tiiat thou mayest be justified ? 

Job's reply in 42-'® offers no particular withdrawal of his impugnment of 
God's rig^hteousness, but rather continues, and gives the reason for what 
he has already said in 40'*'; thus he specifically acknowledges the might 
of God (42-), as in 40'* he had recognized his own impotence, and he gives 
as a reason for the silence on which he is now resolved (40'"'), the humility 
to which the vision of God has brought him (42"-). Most of those who 
adopt the view that there is but one speech of Yahweh, include in this 
one speech, and that as its conclusion, 40*"''* (so Bi. Du. Peake) ; but it is 
more probable that that speech concluded with 40-, and that 40^-41-^ should 
be looked on as a variant of the original speech of Yahweh ; for ( i ) the 
forcible effect of the brief challenge in 40^ is weakened by the addition 
of a few distichs presenting a new subject ; (2) 40'*^- admitting Job's 
incapacity to answer and announcing his retirement from the argument, 
follows far better immediately on Yahweh's challenge to him to answer, 
and justify his argument if he can (40-), than after ^"^^ ; (3) if the poet 
intended to deal with the impugnment of God's righteousness, it is prob- 
able that he would have done so more nearly on the scale of his 
treatment of the divine wisdom and power in 38. 39 ; (4) if the speech of 
Yahweh dealt separately and concluded with the question of the divine 
righteousness, it would be strange that Job's confession should make no 
reference to it, but only to the might of God (42-). Da. feeling this 
remarked (on 42"), "Job does not, as might have been expected, acknow- 
ledge the divine righteousness " ; but then proceeded very inconclusively to 
explain that "any one divine attribute implies all others. Omnipotence 
cannot exist apart from righteousness" ; if this reasoning were valid at all, 
it would render Yahweh's second speech unnecessary. 

7-I4. As Job had questioned the justice of God's rule of the 

world, he is now ironically invited to assume Divine attributes, 

and rule it himself; since he cannot accept the invitation, and 

so gain by experience a knowledge of all that is involved, he 

has no right to criticize. 

7. = 38^. 

8. Disallow] or, make void {i^^, Is. 14^7, Nu. 30^- 13(8. 12)^^ 
— My right] that which is my due (34^, Is. 10^), i.e. my claim 
that I rule the world justly? Or "'DSC'^ might mean my right, 
in the sense of the right, or justice, which I execute in the 
world (Di. Da.) : wilt thou condemn me that thou mayest be in 
the right, in thy claim, viz. to have been treated differently ? 

9. Arni\ the symbol of might, as 22^ n.; of God, Ps. 89^* 
and often. — Thunder] mentioned as an imposing manifesta- 

350 THE BOOK OF JOB [XL. 9-13. 

■ Or hast thou an arm like God? 

And canst thou tliundcr with a voice like his? 
'" Pray, deck thyself with majesty and loftiness ; 

And array thyself with g'lory and state : 
^' Shed abroad the overflowing-s of thine anger ; 

And look upon every one that is proud, and abase him : 
'* Look on every one that is proud, (and) bring- him low ; 

And pull down the wicked where they stand : 
'* Hide them in the dust tog^ether ; 

Bind up their faces in the hidden (world) : 

tion of God's power (cp. 37-'^). — There is a sudden transition 
here from the thought of God's justice to that of His might. 
The world is so large, the circumstances and situations of 
human life so infinitely varied, that none but an omnipotent 
Ruler could rule them all with perfect justice : "one, there- 
fore, who does not possess God's might, must refrain from 
passing judgment upon God's justice" (Di.). 

10-12. God challenges Job, if he really thinks he can rule 
the world even as well as, not to say better than God does, to 
assume His attributes of majesty and power, and to abase the 
wicked as God abases them. 

10. Deck thyself\ put on as an ornament (^IJ?) : so Hos. 2^^, 
Is. (i\^^ 2X.— Majesty (|ixj)] of God, as 37*, Ex. 15^ Is. 2^^'^ 3\. — 
Loftiness {^'y^)\ cp. 22^^^ — Glory and state ("nni lin)] the attributes 
of a king (Ps. 21^ 45*) ; of God, Ps. 104^ 96®. 

11. Shed ahroad\ lit. scatter, or disperse (Pr. 5^^). The 
figure is that of an impetuous, overflowing stream : cp. to pour 
out wrath, Hos. 5^*^, and often. — b. cp. Is. 2^2. — Look upon\ lit. 
see : do, if thou canst, as I do, who merely see the wicked, 
and they are instantly brought down ! 

12a. = ^^1 except one word : the repetition, if original, was 
intended to give emphasis to the thought. — b. Where they 
stand] immediately, and on the spot. 

13. The reference might be to some dark, underground 
cavern, used as a prison, such as that in which Azazel is con- 
fined in En. lo^^- (bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him 
into the darkness : and make an opening in the desert, which 
is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough 
and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him 

XL. 13-14.] (vahweh) 35 1 

'* Then will I also praise thee, 

Thai thine own right hand can save thee. 

abide there for ever, Koi rrjv oyjrtv avrov Trwfxaaov, kcu (f)co<; 
1X7] OecopeiTO), — quoted by Di.), or, more probably, perhaps, to 
the dust of the grave in *, and to the dark and hidden recesses 
of Slieol in ^. — Hide them in the dust\ Is. 2^°. 

14. If Job succeeds in a position in which (as his com- 
plaints imply) he deems God to have failed, God will acknow- 
ledge — not, indeed, that he is equal to Himself in all things, 
but that he has an arm like God's {^^) — that at least his own 
power is sufficient for the task which he has undertaken, and 
that he is able to wield effectively his sword for the punishment 
of evil-doers. The hand., right hayid or anyi, is said in Heb. 
to save, or give salvation (deliverance, victory) to a person, 
when, with none to help him, he himself triumphantly over- 
comes his foes; of men, Jg. 7^ (" lest Israel vaunt themselves 
against me, saying. Mine own hand hath saved me"), i S. 2^^- 
^, Ps. 44* ^^^ ; of God, Is. 59^^ and 63^ (no one else could do any- 
thing, so " his own arm brought salvation to him "), Ps. 98^ 

15-XLI. 34 (26). Behemoth and Leviathan. — For various 
reasons it seems probable that the description of these two 
animals was not written by the author of 38 f. 

(i) The descriptions are longer : the longest description In 38 f. extends 
to six distichs and a tristich ; that of behemoth to ten, that of leviathan to 
thirty-four distichs. (2) Questions, so frequent throughout 38 f. and never 
intermitted for more than a few distichs (at most five, 39"''^^) at a time, are 
here entirely absent from twenty consecutive distichs in ^iis-s^C^-^e) and from 
nine or ten in 40'^""^ <^'. The questions that do occur are massed together 
in 41^"''" ^'"* ^^^" (40^^'*^ 4i-'' ^'■). (3) The constant recurrence of questions in 
38 f. serves to keep the sense that God is speaking vivid, and to give an 
accumulating urgency to the divine challenge to Job ; in the prolonged 
absence of questions in, and the purely descriptive character of especially 
the close of, 40^^-41^1^^', the force of the challenge expressed, as in 38 f., in 
41^'" (40*^-41^) dies awa}', and it is easy to forget that God is speaking. 
(4) This eflfecl is not prevented by the direct assertion of 41'-^, which, if 
the text be correct, has no parallel in 38 f. (5) In 38 f. it is the habits, 
actions and temper of the animals, and especially what is striking or 
strange in these, that are referred to ; in 40^^'''- descriptions of the bodily 
parts of the animal assume prominence (see especially Ofi^^'^'^ ^^j 12. 15-23. 30 
(4. 7-15. 23)^_ (5) Whether behemoth and leviathan are respectively the 
hippopotamus and the crocodile, in which case they are pre-eminently 

352 THE BOOK OF JOB [XL. 14. 

Egyptian animals, or mythical monsters (see below), they contrast strikingly 
with the actual animals of Palestine described in 38 f. It is questionable 
whether much or any weight can be attached to (7) linguistic and stylistic 
differences: Di. detects such in Jordan (=a river) 40-", leviathan ^or' 
(assuming that it differs in meaning from leviathan in f), [Ci 41' (ct. 30"), 
hi and dO 4I^^ '/= negativing the finite vb. 41'^ nn 41^^ (ct. r\r\- 6-^); but 
both jDi and nn, even if in themselves significant, are textually doubtful ; 
on the negatives, the most noticeable among the points adduced, and on 
BID, see phil. nn. on 41^^' '^ ; on leviathan see the end of this introductory 
note • the use of Jordan in 40^ is no doubt remarkable, but there is no 
obvious opportunity for its use elsewhere in the book. Di. also alleges the 
style of 41''* ^^ ^^" ^^ but this is partly the result of textual corruption and 
for the rest inconclusive. In view of the indecisiveness of (7), it must no 
doubt remain largely a matter of taste whether the author of 38 f. is con- 
sidered to be also the author of 40^^-41^'^' or any part of it, and whether 
there were originally two speeches of Yahweh or only one. But such a 
second speech as the present text offers, with its brief introduction (40"*") 
followed by these lengthy descriptions of two animals, with its small inter- 
roo-ative element and entire absence of challenge at the close, is certainly 
greatly inferior in conception to the first with its vivid, brief descriptions of 
several animals, its recurrent challenging questions, and its final question 
(40^). To transfer the descriptions of behemoth and leviathan to the first 
speech, as some have proposed, merely mars the first without rendering 
the second speech thus reduced to g^reat brevity (40^-") more probable. 

A further question is whether the whole of 4o^=-4i^(^' is from the same 
hand. If not, it is safest to distinguish from the rest 41^-^1 (4o'-^-4i^) which 
is mainly interrogative (and so in contrast to the rest which is almost 
entirely descriptive), and possibly treats of a sea monster in contrast to the 
Nile animals that form the subject of the rest. This passage {^^i^-^'^) might th&n 
have originally formed part of the first or rather the only speech of Yahweh. 
Others have distinguished (i) the description of leviathan (4 1 12-34 (4-26 j f^om 
(2) the description of behemoth and the interrogations about leviathan (40^^- 
41" (3)), attributing the whole of (2) to the author of 58 f. : so, e.g., Stuhlmann ; 
see also the discussions by Bu. (on 40^^-41=^) and Ku. {Hist. Crit. Onderzoek, 
iii. § loi, n. 17). 

The identifications of behemoth and leviathan with the 
hippopotamus and the crocodile respectively are now commonly 
accepted : the only modern competing- theory is that which, 
reviving- in a fresh form ancient Jewish interpretations (En. 
5q7-9. 24^ Apoc. Bar. 29^, 4 Es. 6^^"^- : see also references, s.v. 
;n^1^ in Levy, XHWB) sees in these beasts mythical monsters 
described partly on the basis of mythological tradition, partly 
by means of traits derived from the hippopotamus and the 
crocodile (Che. EBi. 2483) : see Che. Job and Solomon, 56, and 
Behemoth and Leviathan, in EBi. ; Toy, Judaism and Christi- 


XL. 15.] BEHEMOTH 35^ 


" Behold, now, behemoth, which I made with thee ; 
Grass, like the ox, doth he eat. 

unity, 162 f. ; Gu. Schdpfungu. Chaos, 57, 61 ff. ; and for a full and 
keen criticism of the theory, Bu. The supposed mythical traits 
are found mainly in the interrog^ative passage (41^"^^ (40-^-4i^)), 
though not exclusively, for Che. and Gu. find such also in 40^^- 2* 
^j2o(i7)3i-34(23-iG)^ ^^^ especially in the fact that both animals, 
though this so far as the hippopotamus is concerned rests pre- 
cariously on 40-*, are represented as beyond the power of men 
to capture, whereas the ancient Egyptians hunted and captured 
both the crocodile and the hippopotamus. Yet this point can- 
not be pressed too far, for, as Bu. (on 40-') has pointed out, the 
Egyptians themselves could speak rhetorically of the animals as 
unapproachable : so in a hymn of victory Amon-Re says of 
Thothmes : " The lands of Mitanni tremble under fear of thee: 
I have caused them to see thy majesty as a crocodile, lord of fear 
in the water, unapproachable" (Breasted, Egyptian Records, ii. 
659). Possibly, however, those who put forward this theorv 
are so far right that two distinct animals are described in 41^"^ 
(40^-41-^). In the interrogative passage, which is dominated 
by the idea of the beast's invincibility, there is nothing, unless 
we should so regard 41" (40^^), that points necessarily or at all 
strikingly to the crocodile, and one or two points (see on 41^) 
seem inconsistent with it. We should, perhaps, distinguish 
(1) in 41^-^1 (40-^-4 1 3) a description of a j-t'fl-monster, leviathan, 
which is implied in Ps. 104-^ to be seen of sailors on the sea, 
but is more often mentioned with distinctly mythical associa- 
tions {f. Is. 27I, Ps. 741s En. 60' -9, 4 Esd. 6^9-^2, Apoc. Bar. 29^), 
from (2) a description in 4112-34(4-20 Qf ^-j^g AY/^-monster, the 
crocodile, which was never termed leviathan, but may have 
been mentioned by name in the rhythmically irregular and more 
or less corrupt opening v. of the description (41*^12)^. 

15-24. Behemoth.— Its habits (15.20-23)^ bodily parts (i^-is)^ 
and avoidance of capture (-^). 

15. Behettioth] apparently the pi. of the common Hebr. term 
for beast with intensive force — the great beast — here applied to 
a particular animal which may, on the strength of the details 

154 THE BOOK OF JOB [XL. 15. 

"' Lo, now, his strength is in his loins, 

And his force is in the muscles of his belly. 

given, especially of its amphibious character (--^•), be identified 
with the hippopotamus (so most since Bochart, Hierozoicon, lib. 
V. c. 15). On the possibility and extent of mythical elements 
in the description see above, and the notes that follow. 
Schultens, himself inclining- to the elephant, records and 
criticizes a number of other identifications, mostly ridiculous, 
such as the worms feeding- on Job's body, the domesticated 
ox, or, alleg-orically, the Devil or Christ. The hippopotamus, 
even if in the time of the author found outside Africa, and the 
crocodile were probably mainly thought of by the author as the 
two most conspicuous animals of Egypt and the Nile: op, 
Herod, ii. 68-71, where the hippopotamus is described immedi- 
ately after the crocodile: Diod. i, 35; Pliny, HN. viii. 95. 
" At the present time the river-swine (as the ancient Egyptians 
called them) \i.e. the hippopotamus] do not extend north of 
Dongola, between the second and third cataracts, and even 
there they are rare ; but both the frescoes and writings of the 
Egyptians and the fossil remains found in the Delta of the Nile 
show that in former times it inhabited Lower Egypt, and was 
harpooned by the inhabitants. During the Pleistocene and 
Pliocene epochs an animal specifically indistinguishable from 
the hippopotamus was widely spread over southern and middle 
Europe, extending even into England, so that although at 
present there is no distinct evidence of its existing in the Jordan, 
it is possible that it may formerly have done so " [EBi. 2073). 

15. With thee\ i.e. like thee (9^6 37I8) . both alike are God's 
creatures (cf. for the thought, 31^^ 33'^). Or, oxn\\.\!\ng which I 
made with C!j, we may render is beside thee (see phil. n.). — Grass, 
like the ox\ from its size and strength it might have been judged 
to be a carnivorous animal ; but like other cattle it feeds merely 
on grass. The hippopotamus, especially at night, issues forth 
from its reedy ferns and "treading its way into the cultivated 
lands, makes sad devastation among the growing crops " 
(Wood's Mammalia, p. 762). 

16-I8. The immense strength of the animal. 

XL. 16-19.] BEHEMOTH 355 

" He bendeth his tail like a cedar : 

The sinews of his thighs are knit together. 

'* His bones are tubes of bror./e ; 
His limbs are like bars of iron. 

** He is the first of the ways of God : 

Let him that made him bring near his sword ! 

l6a. Not very distinctive, since the loins in g-eneral, or at 
least in men, were proverbially the seat of strength (Nah. 2^, 
thy loins II thy power, Ps. 69''^ ^-^\ Dt. 33^^; cp. Latin delum- 
bare, to weaken) ; on the other hand, b. the yyitiscles of the belly 
in the hippopotamus are said to be peculiarly thick and strong-; 
and, unlike the elephant (i Mace. 6^^; Jos. Aiit. xii. 9*), for 
example, it was not peculiarly vulnerable in the belly. 

17a. A hyperbolical description of its tail. This is short, 
similar to that of a pig, hairless, very thick near the root, 
about the thickness of a finger at the end ; its muscular stiff- 
ness, regarded apparently as indicative of strength, forms 
the point of its comparison to a cedar. — Are knit together^ 
intertwined, so as to form a compact mass of muscle. Perhaps 
(Del.) there is in iJib'' an allusion to a closely intertwined bunch, 
or cluster, of vine-tendrils (cf. ^''"^^', a cluster of tendrils, Gn. 4o^''' ^^ 
[EVV. bra7ich]). 

18. Tubes of bronse] so strong and firm are they. — Linibs^ or 
perhaps, strictly, bones: see phil. n. 

19. Cp. in the description of leviathan, ^jSSf. (25)_ — First\ 
or, chief; n-t^NI, lit. first, beginning, may denote either what 
is first in time, as the " beginning of wisdom," Ps. 1 1 1^*', or first 
season (of a tree, Hos. 9^°), or what is first in rank, as Am. 6^ 
the chief of the nations, v.^ the best of unguents. Ways 
mean here the creative work of God : cf. 26^*, and especially 
Pr. 8-2 '* Yahweh got me (Wisdom) as the begin^iing of his 
wayis: ffi 2* U)." Is "first," now, here to be taken in the 
sense of first in time (Gu. Schopf. ti. Chaos, 62) — according to 
Jewish Haggadah, Behemoth was not created until the 5th 
day (Bar. 29*, 4 Esd. 6^°) — or (Del.) first in rank, " the most 
majestic work of creation, tin chef dceuvre de Dieu (Bochart) " ? 
"Perhaps (Hrz. Di. Bu. Du.) both ideas are to be thought 
of: behemoth was the masterpiece of God's creative work, 

356 THE BOOK OF JOB [XL. 19-20. 

^' For the mountains bring- him (their) produce ; 
All the beasts of the field do play there. 

because (Hrz.) His full, fresh creative force had embodied itself 
in it (cp. the expression ""JX "i, Gn. 49^ al. ' \.\\e. first {or firstfruits) 
of my virile strength,^ of the firstborn, regarded at the same 
time as the fullest representative of his father's physical 
nature). ' As mythology peopled the primaeval times with 
giants, it is natural they should look on huge beasts like the 
hippopotamus as remnants of such times' (Wr. 192)" — Dr. — 
God\ in a speech of Yahweh : cp. ^ 39^'^ (perhaps interpolated). 
— Let him. that made bring near his sword!] viz. to assail him ; for 
no one else can do so. This is the only meaning which iS can 
have ; but it is not satisfactory : in particular, it anticipates ^^ 
and it gives no reason for the following For (^^). The conven- 
tional rendering is, *' He that made him hringeth near his 
sword" (fig. for his powerful teeth), i.e. furnishes him with it: 
but this, though it satisfies the following For (see on 2°) is for 
other reasons still less satisfactory (see phil. n.). The emenda- 
tion (Che. after Du.), which is made to be ruler of his fellows 
[i.e. of the other animals), is attractive and may be right. G 
suggests which is made for him to play with (cp. Ps. 104^^), i.e. 
to be God's plaything. Gu. very precariously, which was made 
that he should rule the dry la7id, cp. En. 60'^"^, 4 Esd. 6*^"^- 
(Behemoth created lord of the desert; Leviathan, lord of 
the deep). 

20. For the 7nountains b-ring him (their) prcduce\ — So iiK. 
"For," however, agrees only with the conventional rendering 
of ^^ just mentioned (it requires such a weapon ; for it needs 
abundant vegetation for its nutriment), which (see phil. n.) is 
far from satisfactory; Du.'s emendation, "For the produce of 
the mountains he taketh to himself," gives a better sense. 
Produce, as 20^^, Lev. 26*, Ps. 67^^*^^ al. (EVV. usually increase). 
" Mountains " in Egypt are, however, at some distance from the 
Nile, and also bare : probably smaller cultivated heights, near 
the river itself, are meant. The thought of the line is, not 
that the animal feeds on mountains as opposed to plains, but 
that whole tracts of wooded and grassy heights are depastured 

XL. 20-23,] BEHEMOTH 357 

*' Under the lotus trees he lieth, 

In the covert of the reed, and the swamp. 
"^ The lotus trees screen him as his shade ; 

The poplars of the wady compass him about. 
^^ Behold, if a river '' overflow 1, he is not alarmed, 

He is confident, though Jordan burst forth ag-ainst his mouth. 

by him. — b. The line according to the existing- text suggests 
the harmlessness of the animal : huge as it is, it does not assail 
other creatures ; they can play fearlessly beside it. Gu. (see 
phil. n.) suggests that the original text expressed the subjec- 
tion of other animals to behemoth in some such form as all the 
beasts of the field look up to hiin. 

21-22. Its favourite haunts : under the shade of lotus 
trees, or poplars, and among the reeds and swamps of the 
river's side. The "lotus" meant is not the water-lily called 
Nymphcea lotus, though this is common in Egypt, but the 
Zizyphus Lotus, a low thorny shrub, which (Wetzst.) loves 
warm and moist low-lying regions {e.g. the shores of the Sea of 
Galilee), and is common in N. Africa (cf. the Xa)TO(f)dyoi, Od. 
9. 82 ff. ; Hdt. iv. 177). 

21. The reed] the papyrus: Is. 19^, Ps. 68^^ "the beast of 
the reed." Cf. Ammian. Marc. xxii. 15 (cited by Bochart) : 
Inter arundines celsas et squalentes nimia densitate haec bellua 
cubilia ponit. 

22. The poplars of the wddy] so Lev. 23**^ : cf. the * ' wady 
of poplars " Is. 15^: D''n"iy, also Is. 44*, Ps. 137^!. The Arabic 
equivalent is gharah : and branches of this, brought to Europe 
and examined, are found to belong to the Populiis Euphratica, 
which is very common in Palestine, being found on the banks 
of the Jordan and all other rivers {EBi. iv. 5302). The 
"wady" suggests Palestine rather than Egypt. 

23. The animal may be asleep on the edge of the river, or 
even in the river itself, with just its eyes, ears, and nostrils 
above the water ; but it can dive and swim ; so even though 
the stream rises suddenly and dashes against it, it is not 
alarmed. In ^ i^x'i Jordan is correctly read there) the imagery 
is derived from Palestine (cp. last n. end) : even though Jordan, 
a rapid and impetuous stream, dashed against it, it would still 

358 THE BOOK OF JOB [XL. 23-24, 

** Can any take him ""when he is on the watch ^, 

Or pierce through 'his^ nose with metal teeth? 

have no fear. — Over/iow] in RV. "overflow" is a paraphrase: 
RVm. be violent, is a doubtful rendering (see phil. n.). Gu., 
also by a slight emendation, obtains Falleth, and then restores 
the whole v. as follows : Behold, if the river falleth, he is not 
alarmed ; He is confident, though the stream burst forth — alike 
whether the Nile rises or falls, the hippopotamus remains un- 
alarmed. — Is alarmed] Dt. 20^, Heb. (EVV. tremble). The word 
implies hurry mingled with alarm: i S. 23-^, 2 S. 4*, Ps. 48^^^^ 
104'^ (the waters "at the voice of thy thunder sped in alarm''''). 
24. A very doubtful v. : by itself it would most naturally 
express the ease with which the animal is captured : this being 
impossible in the context, it has been often understood to mean, 
It cannot be taken like an ordinary land-animal : when it could 
see him, no one would be able to take it, nor can its huge 
nostril be pierced by metal teeth. — Can any . . . ?] No inter- 
rogation is expressed in ft^ ; and it is not improbable that the v. 
was originally, like the rest of the passage, descriptive ; it may 
have read. No man can, or similarly. Gu. surmises a mytho- 
logical reference : God taketh or took him : see phil. n. — 
Metal teetJi\ " :^'p1r^ is not a * snare' (EVV.), i.e. (Germ. Schmir, 
a string) a cord, or noose ; but, as its fig. use in the sense of a 
/wre to destruction suggests (Ex. 10" 23^^^, i S. 18'^^, ' that they 
may be a mdkesh to him, and that the hand of the Philistines 
may be upon him) the trigger, or metal tooth, on which the 
bait was placed which, when the animal touched it, was 
released either by the action of the animal itself, or (as in 
Egypt) by the fowler concealed near it, who pulled it by a 
string, so that the trap, or frame holding the net — see the 
illustration of an Egyptian trap-net in Dr. Joel and Amos, 
p. 157 — closed upon the animal; or sometimes — as the present 
passage would suggest — pierced its nostril, and so secured it 
(Del.). Such an instrument might effectually capture smaller 
animals ; but it would be useless against the huge, thick- 
skinned muzzle of the hippopotamus" — Dr. See Burney, 
Judges 40. 


XLI. (XL.) ' '-"** Canst thou draw out leviathan with a fish hook? 
Or press down his tongue with a line ? 

XLI. 1-34 (XL. 25-XLL 26). —Leviathan : Can Job 
capture leviathan ? ^■^. If not, how stand before God? ^-^^ 
(but the text, meaning-, and connection of ^"^^ are uncertain). 
In ^2-34 there follows a description of, in all probability, the 
crocodile. Whether this animal is also the subject of ^"^^ is less 
certain (see above, p. 353). In describing the crocodile after 
the hippopotams, the writer probably had at least mainly in 
view the crocodiles of the Nile (cp. 3i (23) ^^^^ ^q^- crocodiles of 
the streams flowing into the Mediterranean south of Carmel, 
even if crocodiles at the time were found in any of the streams 
of Palestine. The OT. never refers to crocodiles in Palestine, 
though it is commonly inferred, from the names KpoKoSelkcov 
7r6Xt<;, attaching to a town between Ptolemais and Straton's 
Tower (Strabo, 16.27), ^"^ Crocodilon (Pliny, UN. 5. 17), attach- 
ing to a stream g-enerally identified with the Nahr ez-Zerka, 
which flows into the Mediterranean south of Carmel and north 
of Caesarea, that crocodiles existed in Palestine at least as 
early as these writers. Several mediseval writers speak, mainly 
on hearsay, of crocodiles especially in the stream north of 
Caesarea (see Tobler, Dritte Wandenmg nach Palastina, 
375 ff.), and the presence of crocodiles, particularly in the 
Nahr ez-Zerka, has been reported by many modern travellers 
(see Memoirs of the Survey of Western Palestine., ii. 3 ; H. B. 
Tristram, Fauna and Flora, 155; Conder, Palestine, 70; 
Macgregor, The Rob Roy on the fordaji, 432 f. (who also claims 
to have seen a crocodile in the Kishon, ib. 4478".) ; PEF Qu. 
St. 1887, p. i), and the skin of a crocodile said to have been 
killed in this stream is in the possession of the PEF (see Qu. 
St. 1893, pp. 183, 260). See more iwWy PEF Qu. St. Oct. 1920. 

XLL I (40'^). Can leviathan be taken by an ordinary hook 
and line ? — Leviatha7i\ a term with mythological associations 
(3^n.), and never, presumably, the current Hebrew term for the 
crocodile, but here, if throughout down to ■** the same animal is 
referred to (yet see above, p. 353), applied to the crocodile to 
which the details in ^^-^^ so strikingly point that, with the 


exception of Schultens, who still inclined to identify the animal 
described with the whale, most since Bochart have acquiesced 
in the identification, even those who arg-ue for a mythical 
character of both behemoth and leviathan agreeing- that ele- 
ments in the description in ^^-^^ are taken from the crocodile. — 
Or press do7vn, etc.] this has been explained as meaning- that 
when the hook is swallowed and the cord drawn tightly, it 
presses down the tongue (Di. Da.). But the language is 
strange (see phil. n.). Du. Peake take the line to refer to lead- 
ing about the animal, after capture, by means of a rope fastened 
round the tongue and lower jaw ; and they find the idea carried 
on in 2. In this case ^^ and -^ have probably changed places ; 
note that the more closely parallel terms li7ie and cord, fish 
hook and hook would by such a transposition be associated in 
the same distich ; ^^ in this case refers to what is done before 
capture : cp. Ezk. 29*. — His lo7igne^ this reference is not 
favourable to the identification of leviathan, ^"^ (as distinct from 
the animal described in i^^-) with the crocodile : for Herodotus 
(ii. 68) records a widely prevalent popular opinion when he 
remarks of the crocodile that " unlike all other beasts, he grows 
no tongue " ; similar statements (collected by Bochart, Hieroz. 
V. 16) are made by Aristotle, Plutarch, Pliny, and Ammianus 
and others. The difficulty cannot be satisfactorily avoided by 
pleading that as a matter of fact the crocodile has a tongue, 
though it is immobile and adheres to the lower jaw; for the 
question is not what is known to modern and some ancient (see 
Bochart) correct observers of the crocodile's anatomy, but what 
was the popular opinion in the age of the writer ; it is possible, 
though not probable, that the Jewish author of this passage 
did not share the opinion current in Egypt, carried home thence 
by Herodotus, who was probably nearly contemporary with 
him, and accepted by Aristotle. Peake very rightly rejects 
another explanation, remarking, the line hardly means "you 
cannot press down his tongue, for he has none ; but rather you 
cannot press down his tongue, for he is too formidable to be 
attacked." But would a writer so speak of the tongue in 
reference to an animal popularly believed to have none? 
5^ (see phil. n.) admits of being rendered i7ito his teeth ; but 

XLI. 1-2.] LEVIATHAN 36 1 

2 <28) Canst thou put a cord into his nose ? 

Or pierce his jaw through with a hook? 
8 (-"7) Will in> niake many supplications unto thee? 

Or will he speak soft words unto thee ? 

this rendering- involves an improbable construction, and the 
text probably refers, as most have assumed, to the tongue. 
There is another consideration unfavourable to the identifica- 
tion of the beast described in i-^di) with the crocodile: 
Herod, (ii. 70) describes the method of capturing- crocodiles as 
follows : "A man puts the back of a pig upon a hook as bait, 
and lets it go into the middle of the river, while he himself 
upon the bank of the river has a young live pig, which he 
beats : and the crocodile hearing its cries makes for the direc- 
tion of the sound, and when he finds the pig's back swallows it 
down ; then they pull, and when he is drawn out to land," etc. 
Now, as already remarked, though crocodiles were captured, 
even the Egyptians could speak of them rhetorically and in 
general terms as unapproachable ; but is it natural to ask 
incredulously in detail whether that was done which was done, 
or at least was believed by such a traveller as Herodotus to 
have been done ? 

2 (40^^). Can it, after capture, be treated like other fish ? 
The reference may be either to the method of carrying fish when 
caught, cp. the illustration in Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, 
ii. 118 (190), or (Del.) to the practice of passing a cord through 
their gills, and letting them down into the water again, to 
keep them fresh ; or there may be an allusion to the custom of 
leading about a bull or wild animal with a cord and ring 
(see on ^). — Cord\ lit. a rush (41^- ^-''^ Is. 58''), i.e. a cord either 
made of rushes, or spun of rush-fibre : cf. g'^oIvo<; and a-^otvioi. 
— Hook\ nin is properly a brier (2 K. 14^), then a thorn (Pr. 26^), 
and fig. a spike ox pointed hook for holding captives ; cp. 2 Ch. 
33^^, and they caught (and held) Manasseh (D''nh3) with hooks : 
and so (nn) Ezk. 19* 29*, and Is. 37'^ I will put my hook in thy 
nostril : cf. the representation on a stele in the British Museum 
of Esarhaddon holding Tirhakah of Egypt and King Baal of 
Tyre, who are kneeling before him, by two cords, with rings at 
their end passed through their noses (PI. 40 in Rogers, CF). 

362 THE BOOK OF JOB [XLI. 3-7. 

* <28» Will he make a covenant with thee, 

That thou shouldest take him for a servant for ever ? 
8(2»i Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? 

Or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? 
8 (SO) Will the companies (of fishermen) bargain over him ? 

Will they divide him among the merchants? 
' '*'• Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons, 

Or, his head with fish spears ? 

3 (402^). Will he beg- to be spared or treated kindly? 

4 (40^^). Will he consent to make an agreement with thee to 
be thy servant as long" as he lives, receiving in return his food 
from thee? — Covenajt^] as Gn. 31**, 2 S. 3^''^- ^^ etc. — A servant 
for ever\ i.e. to the end of his life: so Dt. 15^^, i S. 27^^^ 

5 (40^^). Can Job play with him as a bird, or keep him in 
his house as a pet for his maidens ? Bochart and others 
compare Catullus' *' passer deliciae meae puellae." 

6 (40^°). Is leviathan an article of traffic ? Will fisher- 
men make bargains (6^^^) over him, or merchants be ready 
to take portions of it from them ? — Companies\ D"'"i3n is 
associates, partners : fishermen often worked in partnership ; 
of. Luke 5^ Karevevaav rot? /u-eTo^ot9 eV ru> eTepa) TrXoicp, ^^ 01 
rjcrav kolvcovoI tw ^Ificovi. — Merchants] lit. Canaanites {i.e. 
Phoenicians), these being the principal "merchants" known 
to the Hebrews. Cf. Is. 2'^, Zech. 14^1, Zeph i^S Pr. 31-*, 
Ezk. 17*. 

7 (41^^). This v. might well refer to the crocodile : can spears 
pierce his sides so as to enter his flesh ? But it would anti- 
cipate, so far as the reference to the shield-like scales is con- 
cerned, ^^"^^ ^^"^\ and, so far as the futility of weapons is con- 
cerned, 26-29 (is-2i)_ jf ^j^g reference is to a sea-monster, the 
meaning is : as he is not to be captured with hook, so he is 
not to be slain by spears, for ^ no one assails leviathan with 
impunity : it is the assailant, not leviathan, that in such a case 
would suffer. — Fish spears] or, harpoons only here ; lit. a 
whizzing implement. Spears of various kinds were much 
used in ancient Egypt for fishing, and are often represented on 
the monuments. " The bident was a spear with two barbed 
points which was either thrust at the fish with one or both 
hands as they passed by, or was darted a short distance. 

XLI. 7-11.] LEVIATHAN 363 

8 (32) L^y (jyt thine hand upon him ; 

(Then) think of the battle ; thou wilt do so no more ! 
^ '■' Behold, the hope of him (that assaileth him) proveth itself false ; 

Even at the sight of him "^ he is i prostrated. 
10 (2) r jg j^g 1 not (too) fierce for one to stir him up ? 

Who, then, is he that can stand before me ? 

a long- line fastened to it preventing- its being lost, and serving- 
to secure the fish when struck . . . sometimes a common 
spear was used for the purpose" (Wilk. B. ii. 121, cited in 
EBi. i. 1527: the line and net were, however, also used; see 
illustr., ibid. 11 5- 117). 

8 (41^^). Le. If thou merely layest thy hand upon him, the 
thoug-ht of the struggle thou wilt have with him will deter 
thee from ever doing so again. 

9-II (1-3). It is hopeless to expect to conquer in a contest 
with the monster (^-lOa^ ; who, then, can expect to stand in a 
contest with God ? (lo^-n). The thought of ^^'^-^^^ however, 
occasions difficulties, and it is very doubtful if the text through- 
out is correct. For mythological allusions found (after emenda- 
tion) in these vv. by Gu. and Che., see phil. n. Me. and Du. 
consider the vv. not only in need of emendation, but also out 
of place ; see on ^2. 

9. Of him [that)., etc.] The pron., as happens sometimes in 
Heb. (see phil. n.), refers to the person whom the poet has in his 
mind, here the assailant. — b. The very sight of the monster 
will paralyse his assailant. — He is\ ?^, impossibly, is he? EVV. 
silently emend by inserting not. 

lOa. Commonly rendered, "He (the assailant) — or (Del.), 
One — is not fierce (enough), that he should stir him up" (Di.): 
but "iT^N is strictly cniel and is better, as above, applied to the 
animal (see phil. n.). The general thought is in both cases 
the same : no one dares to molest him. 

lib. The sudden introduction of God here, without the least 
emphasis in the Heb. on me to suggest that a diff"erent reference 
is intended, agrees indifferently with the context; hence Gu. Du. 
Ehrlich, Honth. read the 3rd p. instead of the ist. " Who, then, 
is he that can stand before him [i.e. Leviathan) ? Who ever con- 
fronted him, and prospered?" "fH is, however, attested (in 

;64 THE BOOK OF JOB [XLI. 11-12. 

11 (3) Who hath ever confronted me, and prosper'"ed'' ? 
Under the whole heaven such a one is ■" not "■ ! 

both words) by fflr ; it is not apparent why, if the 3rd pars, 
stood originally in ^*'''- ^^% it should, after the 3rd pers. in ^^^, 
have been changed into the ist: and though 27 Heb. MSS 
and 9E read hivi for me {vz^h for ^z-jh) in ^^^, this may be an 
error, due to faulty assimilation to 'stir him up ' just before: 
the remaining Versions all read ffie, and there is no variant in 
either MSS or VV. in 'confronted 7?ie' in ^^^"(Dr.). — S/aiici 
(3:»"jT) be/ore me] the expression, as Dt. 7^^ O^S^) 9^ 11^^ ("223), 
Jos. i^. 

11. Afc] or, emending, /n7?t (see on ^^). — And prospered] so, 
virtually, ffi : see phil. nn. pp. 335, 337. — Iia. iH Whoever came 
before me, or to meet me (Mic. 6^, Dt. 23^^*^) [sc. with a gift), ^ha^ 
/ skozild repay {it)? (so U, RV.); and the verse is alluded to 
in this sense in Rom. 11^^ rj ri,<; irpoehoiKev avTa>, koX avrairoho- 
BrjaeraL avru) ; This would be an indirect way of saying that 
no one has any claim against God, or ground of complaint 
against Him, such as Job had raised : man has given God 
nothing, so He owes no man anything. But the manner in 
which the thought that God owes no man anything is introduced, 
and the application made of it to the question what God owes 
man morally, are both improbable. For the form of sentence 
emended as above, see 9* ; for Q^lpn in a hostile sense. Am. 9^" f, 
and more usually Q"n.P, Is. 37^3, Ps. i8^-^^. — b. "(EVV. Whatsoever 
is) under the whole heaven is mine " ; this is, of course, true in 
itself (Ps. 50^°^-), and would perfectly agree with % as read in 
i^K ; but unfortunately there is no word in the Heb. for What- 
soever. The clause can only be rendered, "Under all the 
heaven it {or he) is mine." " It " has no antecedent : " he " is 
adopted by Bu., with the meaning, he {i.e. whoever under the 
whole heaven thus confronted me) is mine, cannot escape me. 
On the emended text followed above see phil. nn. p. 335 f. 

12-34. (4~26). Description in detail of the bodily structure 
of the crocodile, and of the formidable powers with which it is 

12. (4). The V. appears to be corrupt (see phil. nn.), and 

XLI. 12-14.] THE CROCODILE 365 

12 H) I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, 

Or the account of '^ his "• mierht, or the ■" strenj^th "■ of iiis Iniikl. 
13(5) Who hath (ever) stripped off his outward g-arincnt? 

W'ithin his double '' coat-of-mail ' who can come? 
14 (8) W'lio hath opened the doors of his face ? 

Round about his teeth is terror. 

may perhaps in its original form have expressed a meaning- 
radically different from the above, possibly in * naming the 
crocodile. Me., placing ^'^"^ before 38^, renders, I will not 
silently tolerate his (Job's) prattlings (i i^) and the word of pride 
and his artificial {kilnstliche) speeches: Du., placing ^"^^ after 
40-*, renders, He (the assailant of behemoth) would never 
(again after a single conflict) renew his boastings, or his talk 
about valiant deeds and his practical outfit. But these render- 
ings, though they involve no more extensive emendations than 
that given in the text above, strain the meaning of some of the 
words (see phil. nn.). It is unwise to use this v. to depreciate 
the literary skill of the author of the following description ; 
this certainly does not reveal the same kind of genius as the 
brief descriptions in c. 39, but it is in its own way vivid and 
vigorous ; in order to appreciate c. 39, it is unnecessary to 
depreciate 41^-^-. — Strengfh\ reading ■)"'n (of physical strength, 
as 21'^, Ps. i833- *o(32. 39) 2317) ; "^^ perhaps, ^r^c^ (see phil. n.) ; 
but the crocodile is not exactly remarkable for its gracefulness ; 
and the point here is not the animal's comeliness, but its 
formidable character. — Build] lit. arrangement', see phil. n. 

13 (5). Stripped off] n^j as Is. 22^ (n.) 47^. — His outward 
garment] the animal's scales. — His double coat-of-mniC] i.e. the 
animal's scales (cp. EBi. i. 605) and hide: so 6r Wr. Du. Be., 
jJH "his double bridle,'" which is interpreted as meaning his 
upper and lower jaws, each furnished with a powerful array of 
teeth. But " bridle" would be a strange term to use of either 
the jaws or the rows of teeth. 

14 (6). The doors of his face] i.e. his upper and lower jaws. 
— b. The teeth of the crocodile, "in the upper jaw usually 36, 
in the lower 20, long and pointed, are the more formidable to 
look at, as there are no lips to cover them " (Di.). 

15-17 (7-^9)' His armour of scales. 

366 THE BOOK OF JOB [XLI. 15-18. 

15 (7) r j4jg back "" is (made of) channels of shields, 

(Each) shut up closely, (as) a compressed seal. 

16 (8) One is so near to another, 

That no air can come between them. 

17 (9) They take hold of one another ; 

They stick together, that they cannot be sundered. 
IS (10) j^ijj sneezings flash forth light, 

And his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn. 

15 (7). His back is channels of shields^ The creature's scales 
are called fig. " shields " ; each scale of the crocodile is a hard, 
horny, rectangular plate ; they extend in rows along- the animal's 
back, forming a strong protective covering, and the "channels" 
(6^^ 40^^) are the spaces between these rows found by their 
sides (see the illus. in Wood's Reptilia, p. 29). The term 
" shields " is appropriate. " The plates which cover the skin of 
the crocodile are of exceeding hardness, so hard, indeed, that 
they are employed as armour by some ingenious warriors. A 
coat of natural scale armour formed from the crocodile skin may 
be seen in the British Museum" [ib.). And even modern zoo- 
logists call the scales "scutes" (i.e. scuta, shields); see the 
quotation given on v. 2^. — b. The scales are firmly attached to the 
body : each is like a seal pressed tightly against the underlying 
surface. A seal, in the ancient East, was made of clay, sealed 
while it was soft, and hardened afterwards by burning. The 
rows of scales are like rows of seals, each of the same rectangular 
shape, and each pressed down firmly against the skin. 

16-17 (8-9). How firmly the scales are attached to one 
another ; no air can enter between them, and they are insepar- 
able from each other. 

18 (lOa). The spray breathed through his nostrils, as he 
sneezes, flashes in the sunlight. The crocodile often lies, with 
its mouth open^ooking towards the sun ; and hence its ten- 
dency to sneeze. Cf. Strabo, xvii. : rfKid^ovrai, Ke-yr]v6re-i, and 
^lian. Hist. iii. 11 : ^Eirl rrju o-^Or^v TrpoeXOcov Kara Tr]<i uktIvo^ 
Ke^^jvev, cited by Boch. Hieroz. lib. v. c. 17. — b. Like the eye- 
lids of the daton (3^)] The allusion is apparently (Di.) to the 
reddish eyes of the crocodile, which appear gleaming through 
the water befo'-e the head appears above the surface. In the 
Egyptian hieroglyphics the dawn is denoted by the crocodile's 

XLI. 18-23.] THE CROCODILE 367 

i»(ii) Qy^ of his mouth ^o burning torches, 
(And) sparks of fire leap forth. 

20 d'-') Qut Qf his nostrils a smoke cometli forth, 

As of a boilingf pot and rushes. 

21 (13) i4[<; breath setteth coals ablaze, 

And a flame goeth forth from his mouth. 
^<"> In his neck abideth strength, 

And before him danceth dismay. 

eyes: Bochart cites Horns, Hieroglyph, i, 65: AvaroXrjv 
Xeyovreii, 8vo 6(f)daX/jLOV^ KpoKoBeiXou ^(oypacfiovaiv eVeiSz/Trep 
(Ieg"e iireiSr} irpo) 7ravT0<; (TcofiuTo^ ^coov 01 6(pdaX/j,ol e'/c tov 
^vdov ava^aivovTai. 

19-21 (II-I3). A hyperbolical description of the spray, 
which, as the monster rises above the water after a long- sub- 
mergence, is expelled with some vehemence when its pent-up 
breath is released, and sparkles in the sunlight. 

20 (12). As of a boiling pot, and rushes (^(402''))]. — The 
monster's breath is compared to steam issuing forth from a 
boiling pot, intermingled (if the text is correct) with the smoke 
of the rushes used as fuel and burning- beneath it. But we 
should perhaps rather read : as of a pot blown upon and boiling, 
I.e. brought to the boil upon the fire : Wycliffe (after F) "as of 
a pot set on the fier and boilynge." Smoke must here be what 
we should call steam. 

21 (13). The drops of spray, flashing in the sunlight, are 
compared to sparks thrown out by burning coal, and the 
stream of spray itself to a flame of fire. 

22 (14a). The neck, mentioned between the conspicuous 
features in the head (is-21) and the body (^^^ 30^ originally, perhaps, 
consecutive vv. : see on ^0-32^^ jg inconspicuous in the crocodile 
(see Bochart) ; and so here no description is given of its out- 
ward appearance. — Before him, etc.] cp. Hab. 3^. — Daiiceth 
dismay] a beautiful and expressive figure, denoting the con- 
sternation which his approach occasions, which it is an injustice 
to the poet to emend away — especially into questionable 
Hebrew (see phil. n.). Boch. quotes Hes., after the description 
of the chariot of Ares, Trapa 8e Setyu.09 re (f)6po<i re "Earaaav, 
iep,evoi TToXeixov KaraBvfievaL avhpwv. 

23 (15). Even the "flakes," lit. falling, i.e. pendulous, 

368 THE BOOK OF JOB [XLI. 23-25. 

23 (16) "YUe flakes of his flesh are joined log-ether, 

(The whole) firm upon him (and) unmoveuble. 

24<i6) j^jjj iieart is as firm as a stone ; 

Yea, firm as the nether millstone. 

^''''' At his uprisingf the mighty are in dread : 

By reason of consternation they are beside themselves. 

paris of his body, under the neck and belly, which in most 
animals are soft, are in the crocodile firm and hard. "The 
skin of the whole body is scaly, with a hard, horny, waterproof 
covering of the epidermis, but between these mostly flat scales 
the skin is soft. The scutes or dermal portions of the scales 
are more or less ossified, especially on the back, and form the 
characteristic dermal armour" [EncycL Brit. vii. 478^). 

24 (16). His heart is as firm as a stone\ — "The firmness " 
meant is not merely physical firmness, but the staunch moral 
firmness, as shown in undaunted courage, of which the physical 
strength and firmness of the heart were often regarded by the 
ancients as the foundation : cp. how }^*nx and pfn, each mean- 
ing to be strong or firm, are regularly applied to the heart to 
denote courage {e.g. Ps. 27^* "let thine heart be strong" i.e. 
courageous). Boch. [op. cit.) quotes from Elmacinus' History 
of the Saracens, the statement that after a certain warrior was 
dead, his heart was cut out, and found to be as "hard and 
compact as a stone." — The nether millstone^ the Eastern 
domestic handmill used for preparing corn for daily use. 
consisted, as it consists still, of two circular stones, each about 
18 inches in diameter, the lower one resting upon the ground, 
and the upper one having a hole in the centre to admit the 
corn being turned round upon it by a woman (Ex. 11^), or 
sometimes (Mt. 24*^) by two women. The lower stone is 
always heavier, and often made of harder material, than the 
upper stone (cf. Jg. 9^^). 

25 (17). When the monster prepares himself to fight, the 
bravest are in consternation. — The mighty\ or the gods. — By 
reason of co7isternation they] the Hebr. is very questionable (see 
phil. n.) ; perhaps we should read aftd at his teeth 7nighty men : 
for this and other suggestions see phil. n. 

26-29 (18-21). Every weapon the monster defies. 

XLI. 26-30.] THE CROCODILE 369 

26(18) Tliouj^h the sword reach him, it doth not hold, 

Nor the spear, the dart, nor the pointed shall. 
^ <'^> He counteth iron as straw, 

(And) bronze as rotten wood. 
28 (M) The arrow cannot make him flee : 

Shng-stones are turned for him into stubble. 
2!) (21 ) j^ club •" is "• counted as a "" reed i ; 

And he lauijhcth at the rushing of the javelin. 
80 (22) Beneat